Rōze Traore Is the Best Dressed Chef in Any Kitchen

Rōze Traore@jamesmacari

In the kitchen, Rōze Traore is the genuine article. After going to culinary school in Portland, Oregon, he worked in the back of the house at two of New York’s best restaurants: Nomad and Eleven Madison Park. In other words, the guy can cook. A few years ago, he set out on his own, starting a catering and events business that puts together meals for luxury clients. He now stages a five-course-dinner series called Art That Money Can’t Buy. “At the table you have everyone from all different mediums: food, fashion, style, art,” he says. “Food is art, so why not bring it all together?” As if that weren’t enough, Traore opened his own boutique hotel, La Fourchette de Rōze, in Côte d’Ivoire. He’s also one of the most stylish guys out there. Whether he’s cooking a meal for 50 people or tipping back a Negroni at a quiet bar, he achieves the status to which all men aspire: effortless cool. He smells great, too. Here Traore answers our (occasionally inane) questions about style.

Esquire: Would you wear flip-flops?

Rōze Traore: No.

Do you fuck with stretch denim?


Fun socks?

Yes, have some fun.

Shirt and trousers by Hermès. Watch by Rolex.@jamesmacari

Which were you interested in first: fashion or cooking?

Food has always been first on my list. As my career progressed, I was able to find ways to incorporate food with fashion and art.

Does food inspire your style, or vice versa?

It’s all about season. The seasons help you put together whatever you want to have come alive. During the spring, you’re light and vibrant with your colors. That means finding ingredients that speak for themselves. When it comes to the way you dress, you want to have something as light as that—feeling good, feeling free. When it’s fall, things are a bit heavier, so your dishes are, too. They become more root-vegetable-forward. You have that orange-and-brown touch that you could add to either your looks or your dishes.

Which designers do you love right now?

Hermès, always top of my list. I kind of keep it Hermès. I do love a good Levi’s.

Who's your style icon?

I love everyone who has a natural approach to being who they are. I love that Denzel, Al Pacino swag.

Is there a trend or style move you swore you’d never embrace but it’s now part of your personal style?

White socks. I wasn’t doing it for a while; now I’m wearing a lot of white socks with my outfits. It adds that touch.

What’s your one go-to style right now?

All black. High-waist trousers. Black cap. Black shoes. Oxford.

What never goes out of style?

Leather jackets. And an amazing black suit.

What was your aha moment when evolving your own personal style?

Always wearing a scarf. That’s the finishing touch.


Is the necktie dead forever? Or is it coming back?

The necktie is coming back.

What do you spend the most on in your wardrobe?

Trousers, scarfs, and suits.

How much is too much to pay for a pair of socks?

Over a hundred dollars.

What’s your go-to cologne?


Is there one watch you’d love to get your hands on?

The presidential Rolex—all gold, green dial. For the special, special moments.

Are boat shoes actually bad?

Boat shoes?


Bad? No, I think boat shoes are actually amazing.

What is your go-to summer shoe?

The classic Sebago. Those are just right. They’ve stuck with the same style, the same approach, for the longest time, and they’re just classic.

What’s the difference between style and fashion?

Style is something you feel. It’s that soul energy. It’s that pep in your step. It’s the way you’re able to connect colors and textures. Fashion is something you just take; you just put it on without too much homework. The look’s already done. I’m definitely more on the style spectrum.

Photography: James Macari
Sittings Editor: Alfonso Fernandez Navas
Hair: Kevin Ryan using Unite
Grooming: Ryo Kuramoto for Nars
Design Director: Rockwell Harwood
Contributing Visual Director: James Morris
Executive Producer/Director: Dorenna Newton
Director of Photography: Elyssa Aquino
Camera: Derrick Saint-Pierre
Video Editor: Josh Archer
Associate Producer, Video: Janie Booth
Associate Producer, Video: Carly Bivona

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