The scene

Charlie Trotter's July 30, 8:08pm.
By Photograph by Marzena Abrahamik |

Pampering chefs What does Charlie Trotter, Chicago’s most famous chef, do when it’s his restaurant’s 19th birthday? He lures culinary heavyweights into his kitchen to turn out an insane meal for invited guests. Seven chefs spent three days cooking for 104 guests who paid $650 each, raising $55,000 for the Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation. Chef Andoni Aduriz (third from left), who owns Mugaritz in Spain, plated up a modern take on cheese gnocchi; other dishes included vanilla bean–speared shrimp, octopus in “orange soil” and sake sorbet. Also on hand were local whiz Grant Achatz of Alinea, Wylie Dufresne of New York’s WD-50 and pastry god Pierre Hermé of the eponymous Paris dessert boutique. Maybe Trotter will adopt us and throw our next birthday shindig.—Heather Shouse