The Trotter Project

The Trotter Project opens doors through education, mentorship, and the pursuit of excellence in the global culinary and hospitality industries. 

We believe everyone deserves an inspiring mentor and great education — the type of education that empowers young minds, ignites economies, and elevates communities. 

Your donation can support the Pillars of Excellence Program or sponsor a scholar's post-secondary endeavors. Donate today

Charlie Trotter’s spirit of mentorship and giving back to the community lives on through 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. 

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 the knowledge center lives on as 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.”