Charlie Trotter moving on; street named after chef

[FILE] In this Tuesday Aug. 28, 2012 photo, award-winning chef Charlie Trotter, right, listens as his staff delivers a pre-dinner briefing at his restaurant in Chicago as his wife, Rochelle, looks on. Trotter is closing his iconic restaurant after 25 years to return to college and study philosophy. The final service at Charlie Trotter's is Thursday evening Aug. 30, followed by a sold-out meal prepared by some of the city's top chefs on Friday. (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

June 14, 2013 4:07:11 AM PDT
After 25 years of serving up gourmet food and putting Chicago on the culinary map, Charlie Trotter's restaurant will close its doors for good on Friday.

Chicago and his fans are making sure he won't be forgotten.

With his wife, family and restaurant family, Trotter celebrated the naming of the street in his honor on Thursday. His mother did the honors on Charlie Trotter's Way.

Some of the hundreds of staff who have trained at Trotters joined him. So many famous chefs have passed through his kitchen and have gone on to have their own successful careers.

"You have to learn how to be your own leader and lead your own self I can't do anything other than that to provide an environment where you learn something," Trotter told ABC7.

Thursday night will be the final dinner for the public after 25 years he's ready for the next chapter. The James Beard Winner and philanthropist plans to go to graduate school -- and who knows what else.

"Going to figure it out. I'm going to do what I've done the rest of my life figure it out as I go along," said Trotter. "I almost did this five years at the 20-year mark. And then I didn't do it and then I said, okay, I'm going do it at the 25 year mark."

Friday evening the staff at Trotters will host one more dinner. It will be a private party with some of the Trotter alumni - Graham Elliott, Billy Kim, Mindy Sega and Anne Burrell.