Love, Charlie


Alice Gill-Sheldon Theatre Fri, Nov 18 3:30 PM
Alice Gill-Sheldon Theatre Sat, Nov 19 3:30 PM
Alice Gill-Sheldon Theatre Sun, Nov 20 3:30 PM
Alice Gill-Sheldon Theatre Mon, Nov 21 6:30 PM
Alice Gill-Sheldon Theatre Wed, Nov 23 6:30 PM
Film Info
Event Type:Documentary Feature
Release Year:2021
Run Time:96 minutes
Production Country:United States
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Rebecca Halpern
Cast:Wolfgang Puck
Emeril LaGasse
Grant Achatz


Perfectionist… Control freak... Boundary pusher... Enfant terrible... Driven taskmaster...” Much can be said about Chef Charlie Trotter, the self-proclaimed “excellence-ist,” who reimagined haute American cuisine and made Chicago the culinary capital it is today. Charlie was a rock star among the first generation of celebrity chefs, but because he rose to prominence in the pre-social media era, his legacy stands to be lost to time.

For 25 years, Charlie and his diverse team improvised 10-course tasting menus, never serving the same dish twice. The self-taught chef was credited with inventing micro-greens and took vegetarianism mainstream, and the groundbreaking style of photography in his cookbooks made him the godfather of food porn. Charlie’s obsession with exceptional ingredients and his exacting management style drew ambitious aspiring chefs from around the globe to his door, and his flock of trainees have become the who’s who of the culinary world.

To his employees, Chef Charlie Trotter was an enigmatic guru. To the media, he was a caricature of an overbearing perfectionist. But to those who loved him, he was “Chuck,” a fun-loving dreamer whose passion knew no bounds. LOVE, CHARLIE reveals how, over the course of his career, Chuck (his authentic self) gave way to Charlie (his professional persona), with devastating consequences.

Told through intimate sit-down interviews with family, friends and celebrated chefs including Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse and Grant Achatz, along with extensive personal archival material including 8mm home movies and hundreds of pieces of personal correspondence), and evocative graphics and animation- the film is a searing portrait of what happens when a person’s identity becomes consumed by their work, and an epic cautionary tale of what can happen when that work fades away.