Famed chef Charlie Trotter, whose eponymous restaurant in Chicago holds Wine Spectator's Grand Award, is opening up his kitchens to a wider audience. His new 13-part cooking series, "The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter," debuts on public television stations across the country this month.
Noted for his pure ingredients, 39-year-old Trotter roots his cooking style in the French tradition but draws on flavors from cuisines around the world. His 11-year-old restaurant, Charlie Trotter's, not only has earned the Grand Award for its wine list, but has also won the Wine Spectator Readers' Choice Award for "The Best Restaurant in the World for Wine and Food" in both 1998 and 1997. And Wine Spectator's readers named Trotter "The best chef currently working in the United States" in 1997.
In his new show, Trotter translates his creative cuisine for the amateur chef, demystifying complex techniques and demonstrating that quality meals can be prepared at home. Every half-hour episode incorporates black-and-white footage from the famed restaurant's kitchen during its bustling dinner service. Then, in his test kitchen, Trotter breaks down the recipes into a simple series of steps. Each episode is devoted to one main ingredient or course: beef, soups, lobster, salads, pasta, salmon, pork, tuna, duck, poultry, catfish, scallops and dessert.
This weekend, 12 stations around the country will begin airing "The Kitchen Sessions." Nine stations premiered the show last weekend, and more stations will be adding the program throughout January, February and March. Most feature the show on Saturday afternoons, but check local listings for dates and times.
A companion cookbook to the TV series, also called "The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter," is being published by Ten Speed Press this month. In addition, the series will be released on home video. Both the book ($30) and the videos ($70 for the set of four, $20 each) will be available in stores or can be ordered by calling (800) 999-0169.
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