The Trotter Project is Chef Charlie Trotter’s philosophical legacy. A philosophy which embodies the idea that excellence and purpose are best achieved through service to others. Chef Trotter was a mentor to both the chefs in his restaurant and to the disadvantaged students he tutored in his own home. His mission was to provide each person with the opportunity to diligently pursue their own dreams.

At The Trotter Project, we continue to offer that same opportunity. We open doors through education, mentorship, and the pursuit of excellence in the global culinary and hospitality industries. Our scholarships, summer camp and culinary events all serve students who might not otherwise have these opportunities so that they may in turn serve a brighter future - for both themselves and their communities.

We can only offer these life-changing opportunities thanks to the commitment of our generous supporters. Your donations go directly towards supporting our educational programming and sponsoring a scholar's post-secondary endeavors. Donate today

The Trotter Project—a 501(c)(3) charitable organization created in part by our Founding President Chef Homaro Cantu and supported by Chef Trotter's mother Dona-Lee, sister Anne, brothers Scott and Tom, and his son Dylan, plus countless alumni and friends. 

If you go around the kitchen and ask my employees what they want to be doing in three to five years, most of them, if they're being honest, will tell you that they don't want to be working for me. They want to have their own place. And I think that's great.

Charlie Trotter's Story

Charlie Trotter the chef changed the world of cooking through his Michelin-starred restaurant. Charlie Trotter the teacher had an even broader reach as a mentor who fostered a generation of world-class chefs, while also welcoming high school students into his kitchen to learn the art of excellence in service.

Chef Trotter opened his namesake restaurant in 1987. During its 25-year tenure, the kitchen welcomed over 800 aspiring cooks. Many cite Charlie Trotter for cultivating the discipline, skill and curiosity integral to their culinary careers. These include Bill Kim, Matthias Merges, David LeFevre, Mindy Segal, Giuseppe Tentori, Christian Ramos, Michael Taus,  David Myers, Jesse Dunford-Wood and many more from across the country and around the world who have each gone on to open their own successful restaurants.

Charlie Trotter lives on through The Trotter Project, a hub for youth engagement, programming and events. None of this is possible without generous donations from lovers of the culinary community who believe, like Chef Trotter, “One of the most beautiful things that I can do for you—or that any one of us can do for another—is to serve each other.”