Trotter bought the house in July 2007, just a few weeks shy of the 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking restaurant, which was less than three blocks away. Public records show that shortly after his death in November, the house was deeded over to his widow, Rochelle Smith Trotter, who had been the chef’s third wife. (They married in 2010, three years after he bought the house in his name only.)
Built in 2002, the 5,200-square-foot house has five bedrooms, including a master with five closets of its own, according to the listing sheet. There’s a movie theater in the basement, a third-floor conservatory, and over the garage, a deck with an outdoor fireplace, and a pizza oven. The listing photos show tall windows, some inset ceilings, and light-stained floors.
Trotter closed his world-renowned restaurant in August 2012. On November 5, 2013, Trotter’s 22-year-old son, Dylan, reportedly found the chef unconscious in the home. Rushed to Northwestern Memorial by ambulance, Trotter was pronounced dead about an hour later. The medical examiner later determined that the cause of death was stroke.
Natasha Motev, the listing agent for the house, declined to comment, and I could not reach Rochelle Trotter.
Price Points: The house sold for $2.125 million when new in 2001. Trotter then paid $2.425 million for it in 2007. According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, he took out a new $500,000 mortgage in February 2013—the same month that objects from his shuttered restaurant went up for auction.
The list price is 11 percent above what Trotter paid for the house six and a half years ago.
Prior to buying this house, Trotter’s name hadn’t been in public records attached to any homes in the 14 years since he sold a Lincoln Park condo. He’d bought that in 1990 for $205,000 with his parents, Robert and Dona-Lee Trotter. He sold in 1993 for $282,500.