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Chef Charlie Trotter ejects photography students from ex-restaurant

Aug. 30, 2013 at 4:21 PM

CHICAGO, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Celebrity chef Charlie Trotter kicked student photographers out of his closed restaurant after agreeing to let them use the eatery as a gallery, students said.

The students, members of the After School Matters Summer Darkroom at the Chicago Photo Center program, said Trotter had agreed to allow them to use the former Charlie Trotter's restaurant as a gallery, but he insulted many of the students and kicked them out Thursday evening, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday.

Dominic Tafano, 18, a senior at the Chicago Academy, said Trotter became angry when an ASM instructor refused to force the students to sweep floors and plunge toilets at the former restaurant.

Trotter allegedly swore at the students and insulted them before forcing them to leave.

An ASM supervisor who asked not to be named said Trotter sits on the group's board.

"They've been planning this for over a month," the supervisor said. "It was supposed to be a really positive event. Young people working hard all summer making their photographs, framing them, putting them up, marketing to people to come out. We sell their work, too."

Mary Ellen Caron, chief executive officer of After School Matters, issued a statement about the incident Friday night.

"Last night, teens from After School Matters Summer ASM Darkroom at the Chicago Photo Center program arrived at the former Charlie Trotter's restaurant to set up for a public exhibit of their work planned for this evening, Friday, Aug. 30. Due to unforeseen circumstances at the site, the exhibit was unexpectedly canceled. We are working to reschedule the exhibit," Caron wrote.

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