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Chicago Chef Charlie Trotter dead at 54

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(CNN) – Celebrity chef Charlie Trotter died shortly after he was rushed from his Chicago home to a hospital Tuesday morning, CNN affiliate WGN-TV reported.

Trotter — whose namesake restaurant in Lincoln Park received a long list of culinary honors over its 25 years of service — was 54.

There were no details immediately released about the cause of death, which happened at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Frank Shuftan, Public Information Officer for the Cook County Bureau of Administration confirmed the death to CNN and an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.

Police expected to stage a death investigation at Trotter’s home. Trotter leaves behind his wife, Rochelle Smith, and their son, Dylan.

Trotter closed his flagship restaurant in 2012, saying he wanted to go back to school and possibly pursue a Master of Philosophy degree. He received a “Humanitarian of the Year” award from the James Beard Foundation that same year.

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement saying that Trotter, “changed Chicago’s restaurant scene forever and played a leading role in elevating the city to the culinary capital it is today. Charlie’s personality mirrored his cooking — bold, inventive and always memorable. Charlie Trotter will be remembered for serving the finest food and his generous philanthropy, and he will always have a seat at the table among Chicago’s legendary figures.”

An outpouring of condolences and remembrances from the food community quickly followed the news of his passing.

By Alan Duke, CNN and Eatocracy Editors, CNN

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