John Curtas is …

Charlie’s Dead, So Let’s Figure Out How to Make Money Off the Poor Bastard

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Bad taste and Vegas really go hand in hand don’t they?

Looking for anything or anyone with good taste in Vegas is generally a fool’s errand, but this press release from the Wicked Spoon Buffet at The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino really takes the cake:


Tomorrow (Thursday, Nov. 7) only, Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will be serving several dishes in tribute to Chef Charlie Trotter and his contributions to the food business in the United States.  The dishes, which will be served starting at brunch tomorrow, are:

Kashi and Dried Cranberry Salad, with Celery Roasted Pumpkin and Ginger Vinaigrette

Cumin Scented Lamb Ribs with Porcini Potato Puree, and Golden Raisins

Pork Belly, Chanterelle, and Black Olive Braciole with Wilted Chard and Caperberry Garlic Jus

Steamed Scallop and Lobster Sausage, with Bok Choy and Lemongrass Coconut Emulsion

The following is a description from The Cosmopolitan’s Chef de Cuisine Steve Gotham on his inspiration and reasoning on creating these:

The dishes are built around some signature components and techniques that he was known for.  The stuffed pork belly is a rendition of a dish that he produced for his Meat and Game cookbook.  The kasha and cranberry salad a reflection of the staunch commitment to seasonality, that we also try to echo in Wicked Spoon, cranberries and pumpkin being at their peak in November.  Chef Trotter was making the emulsion style frothed sauces almost before anyone and always showcased a flair for Asian flavors in his cooking both of which we are trying to reflect in the steamed seafood sausage dish.

When I was in college I would often watch his show on PBS, The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter, and I very much respected a number of the philosophical beliefs that he presented.  It had an impact on my decision to pursue a career in the culinary arts rather than continue to graduate school.  Through the years I have worked with a number of people that came through his kitchen and they were all deeply influenced by the experience.  That is something that is a very important quality for a chef, not just to produce great food, but to be able to influence and inspire the people around you.

Chef Trotter was very important in that regard and many of the most influential chefs of this current generation worked and trained under him.  For that reason we feel that it is important to recognize and celebrate him.  He had a large role in changing and elevating food culture in this country for nearly 30 years.  We would all like to hope to accomplish a fraction as much and inspire our team and co-stars to do and feel the same.

Craven, meretricious and tacky are but a few of the words that lept to mind when we read it in our mailbox this morning.

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Not-even-cold-in-his-grave Charlie knows the Wicked Spoon (and everyone associated with it) needs a good scolding.

We at ELV are very impressed that buffet chef Steve Gotham was so impressed and influenced by Trotter.

We’d be even more impressed if he had decided to honor the memory of his idol by NOT TRYING TO DRIVE BUSINESS TO HIS BUFFET LINE.

The Cosmo — and everyone associated with this desperate attempt to make money off of someone’s untimely death — should be ashamed of themselves.

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3 Responses to Charlie’s Dead, So Let’s Figure Out How to Make Money Off the Poor Bastard

  • Your funniest posting in memory.

  • Full disclosure, I generally enjoy reading max j’s work, both in the publication from which he draws his checks and in and on various other media. That noted, I’d feel a bit remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to take him to task for his use of the so-called word “funniest”, especially since he’s implied that I’m functionally illiterate on other posts on this forum. I suppose he may have intended it be ironic, or as an in-joke to Mr. Curtas. I hope he did, anyway.

    Moving on to the content of JC’s post, why is it funny? Or is the whole “in memory” segment another in-joke that my plebian self does not comprehend?

    All of *that* said, RIP, Mr. Trotter. So many great meals and memories from West Armitage. Thank you.

  • Yes, Michael, it was intended to be a joke. And I don’t consider you functionally illiterate, either.

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