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  • Writer's pictureKara Marselle

The Trotter Project Aims to Change Lives, Uplift Communities Through Food

The Trotter Project's upcoming Off the Clock Fundraiser on May 4 will help feed more dreams and build more futures

By LeeAnn Trotter Published April 18, 2023 Updated on April 18, 2023 at 6:02 pm

The Trotter Project, named after famed chef Charlie Trotter, offers programs that help both kids and adults live healthier and happier lives, feeding more dreams and building more futures. NBC 5’s LeeAnn Trotter reports.



Chef Walks First, founder of Ketapanen Kitchen, specializes in indigenous cuisine, and for an upcoming event to benefit The Trotter Project, she will be serving three sisters tamales. They are made with corn, beans and squash, and the name refers to the fact that all three grow together and nurture each other as they grow.


As Chef Walks First explains, “The preparation of the food is very sacred. So when we are doing this, we are praying as were doing this, we are putting good thoughts and feelings into that. Like, this whole act right here is a sacred act."



Lupita Romero, executive chef at Cucina RX, will feature a special salad made with local sourced ingredients.


“This is a vegan plate," Romero said. "It does not contain any protein from an animal. This is the most important thing about the future."


"We want to showcase not just the ingredients, but the ingredients that speak to us,” said Cucina RX founder Javier Haro. “So the ingredients, not only are they beautiful, but they have amazing flavor.”


Both dishes will be featured at The Trotter Project’s upcoming Off the Clock Fundraiser on May 4. The Trotter Project started in 2014 after the death of legendary Chef Charlie Trotter, as a way to continue his legacy of giving back in service to others.


“We got involved with The Trotter Project at the height of the pandemic,” said Haro. “Many families in Chicago were suffering from food insecurity we came together to do nutritional meals.” And that partnership continues.


Chef Walks First is working with the Trotter Project on a Health Kitchen initiative, “And that’s what really matters. Bringing about positive change in communities through healthy eating.”

Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to support youth and families on the city’s south and west sides.

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