Celebrity Chicago chef Charlie Trotter, often described as "mercurial" in media profiles, on Thursday kicked a group of high school students preparing for an art show out of his now-vacant restaurant in a bizarre, expletive-laden tirade.
Trotter had reportedly agreed to allow a group of After School Matters (ASM) photography students to use space in his 814 W. Armitage restaurant as a gallery for a Friday show. But the chef became angry when an ASM instructor refused to force the students to sweep the floor and plunge toilets, a student told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Trotter reportedly screamed obscenities at the students before he booted them from the space, leaving the students to eat pizza and call their parents for rides home in a parking lot across the street from Trotter's restaurant.
When WGN's Randi Belisomo arrived at the restaurant and tried talking to the chef, he asked if he "should do an Alec Baldwin" on her. He also asked Belisomo, "Do you have a job?" to which she replied, "I'm doing it right now."
An ASM representative expressed disappointment at the incident and said officials are working to recover the students' artwork and equipment, including iPads, from the space so they can reschedule the show and find a new venue, if needed, WGN reports.
Trotter's restaurant closed its doors in August 2012 and the site was listed on the market with a $3.8 million price tag in June.