Posted by Willy Franzen on June 25, 2009. Jobs updated daily.
When I moved to Chicago last year, just days before my 24th birthday, my parents decided that they wanted to treat me to a truly amazing Chicago experience to start off my life in the city right. They took me and my girlfriend to a dinner at Charlie Trotter’s, one of the finest restaurants in Chicago and the world. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the name, Trotter’s is usually found somewhere on Restaurant Magazine’s list of the Top 50 Restaurants in the World (although they seem to have dropped off the list this year).
When I dined at Charlie Trotter’s I chose the Grand Menu, which is an 8-course tasting menu. Although the menu is constantly changing, I had the pleasure of enjoying: Prince Edward Island Oysters with Sea Water & Pickled Daikon; Chilled Snow Lake Trout with Roe, Watercress & California Crayfish; Four Story Hill Farm Quail with Spring Onions, Chanterelle Mushrooms & Chorizo; Grilled Nantucket Bay Scallop with Boudin, Pig’s Tail & Fennel; Forty Eight Hour Braised Short Rib with Lobster Mushrooms & Fermented Black Garlic; Concord Grape Sorbet with Grape Leaf & Parsnip; Honey Crisp Apples with Cider Granite & Ginger Jelly; and Black Mission Figs with Shaved Fruit Cake, Marcona Almonds & Pedro Ximenez. It was an amazing meal that took food to a level that I didn’t know it could reach.
Yes, Charlie Trotter’s is obscenely expensive if you look at it as just a dinner, but there’s so much more to the experience than just eating. What you have to understand about Charlie Trotter’s is that everything is perfect. Your food will never be cooked improperly. If you tell them that you don’t like cheese, they will prepare you something without cheese. Your water glass will never be empty. You are experiencing something at its highest level. It’s like Albert Pujols’ swing, Yo-Yo Ma’s music, or my fly fishing (just kidding)—Charlie Trotter is one of the best at what he does. And that’s why you should consider a job with him. If you are able to land a job at Charlie Trotter’s—and it won’t be easy—you will be a part of something that is pure excellence. Even if your future isn’t in hospitality, you will gain an appreciation for performing to the highest expectations. That will translate to any job, just like working at the best consulting firm, investment bank, or ad agency. And if you want to stay in the culinary field, then there’s obviously no better place to start than Charlie Trotter’s.
Just ask Grant Achatz, the chef at 10th ranked Alinea (also in Chicago). He got his butt kicked during his try-out at Charlie Trotter’s, but he’s clearly better for it. This isn’t some company that you can just send your résumé to and hope that they take you, but if you meet the below criteria, you should give it a shot:
No matter what level of education or job experience you may have, we are always seeking to meet individuals who have a great attitude, are willing to commit themselves to learning, are passionate about food and wine and have a great work ethic. All of these attributes are of equal importance to us during the application process at Charlie Trotter’s.
You can submit your résumé to Matt Merges at Matthias@charlietrotters.com for culinary positions and to Christian Giles at Christian@charlietrotters.com for service positions. Just make sure that you bring “your A game.”
Links to Help You Begin Your Research
Have you ever dined at Charlie Trotter’s?
We've identified Charlie Trotter’s as having career opportunities in the following categories: