Nothing is what it seems. In the case of Roze Traore, the athletic phisyque would suggest that we are dealing with a sportsman and his fine lineament implies that he’s a model. Only the latter is true of him. Roze works as a chef, and of course, as a model. We interviewed him yesterday, and we can assert that he excels in both areas. Please welcome R.T.
How did you become a chef?
As a kid, I was always interested in learning about where certain foods came from, and learning about the African roots and culture surrounding the meals prepared in my home. It was these spices and the love surrounding the preparations that initially turned me on to cooking. At 18 I was accepted to Le Cordon Bleu and the rest is history. My passion for food, culture and the art of it all is what keeps me going on a daily basis to invent new techniques, flavors and ways to satisfy my clients.
What inspires you in the kitchen?
The fact that food is such a central part of living, both for survival and pleasure, is what inspires me. The joy that food brings to people and the way it is so central to family togetherness and holidays motivates me. I’m always interested in learning about the new cutting edge techniques, tools and ingredients, but at the end of the day, classic style cuisine is where my heart is and that will never go out of style.
People usually think that chefs are the “supreme commanders” of a kitchen. Is that true?
Yes – I’d say that’s true, but it does take a village. Every single person in a kitchen plays a vital role in bringing the final product together. In this case, the whole is certainly greater than the sum of its parts. We all work together in unison and that’s what makes us tick. A chef has the experience to know when things aren’t running smoothly and to right the ship. It’s an honor to be at the head of that operation and see beautiful food being made.
Is modeling for you just as interesting and absorbing as cooking?
Modeling and cooking are really similar in a lot of ways. It’s not just about judging a book by its cover. Things can look pretty, whether it be food or an outfit, but you’ve got to look deeper and get to the soul of that meal or that fashion statement. Both industries provide an outlet for my creativity which is what I really crave. I use the ideas I see on the runway to create artistic food and vice versa. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to do both and allow these industries to feed off one another.
Are there common attributes in gastronomy and fashion?
Absolutely. The love of art and a passion for creativity and perfection are central to both industries. These fields are both about making people feel good and look good too. In fact, I think there are more similarities in food and fashion than there are differences. Many people ask how can I cook and also model. It’s all about balance and making the kinds of food that fuel your body but also taste delicious and don’t weigh you down.
Which is the most anticipated collection for you in 2017?
I am a huge fan of Rick Owens and always have been. Knowing him personally, he’s as cool a guy as you’d expect. His clothes are always exciting and his shows are anticipated each year for their surprises. I love how he thinks outside of the box and marches to the beat of his own drummer.
What is your message for our readers?
Follow your dream, whatever it is. You won’t regret it in the long run, though the path may be long and complicated. This is what keeps me striving for success every day and hoping to always learn more and become better at my craft.