UPTOWN Magazine: Rochelle Smith Trotter

Rochelle Smith Trotter, the wife of Charlie Trotter–Chicago-based restaurateur and one of the nation’s top chefs–has tasted plenty of her own success. The former public relations exec is making big waves as owner of R’Culinaire, a culinary consulting firm that works with developers, hoteliers, and chefs throughout the world. Recently, she traveled to Abu Dhabi and Shanghai to help coordinate a food conference and investigate development options for television. The busy Trotter, who wed last year in the Maldives, takes time out to talk to UPTOWN about her fair city.

SEEN AND SCENE: Trotter loves live music; adores the opera (particularly the Lyric Opera of Chicago); enjoys listening to her friends, vocalist Dianne Reeves and pianist Andre Watts, at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; hits summer shows at Ravinia Pavilion; and has a penchant for soulful, bluesy crooning . “Jazz is wonderful,” she says, “but let’s keep it real: Blues is what Chicago is all about!” Late night, she and Charlie can often be found at The Back Room jazz club.

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