Roze Traore

Rōze Traore Broadens Horizons

Boasting a career which has spanned some of the world's most exclusive kitchens and the pages of many notable fashion magazines, Roze Traore is on track to become a household name for his culinary mastery and entrepreneurial eye. Perhaps his most personal project is his latest, the newly-opened La Fourchette de Roze (translation: Roze's Fork), situated within Côte d'Ivoire's historic coastal town of Grand-Bassam. Collaborating with his mother and drawing upon her real estate experience, Traore has delivered an entirely new hotel blending cuisines, design elements, and experiences from his array of global travels. La Fourchette de Roze is poised to become a launching pad for both the next stage of his career and marks him as a rising talent in the region, all while serving as a vacation destination for locals and Westerners alike.

Having earned his culinary education at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu, Traore is far from a stranger to upscale hospitality. With stints at Eleven Madison Park and New York's late NoMad Hotel as well as clients including Louis Vuitton, Condé Nast, Meta, and Hugo Boss, he has cut his teeth serving discerning clientele in a slew of Western institutions. La Fourchette de Roze is Traore's endeavor to blend his experiences with local sensibilities and bolster his ancestral home of Côte d'Ivoire.

"I wanted it to feel very boutique," Traore says, referring to the hotel and its onsite restaurant. "What I've been doing is more like bespoke events, curations, things that take a little bit more time." The space's individual sensibilities are reflected in the scale of the facilities: The hotel's six guest rooms are far outnumbered by over a dozen bungalows resting on the beach, all of them presided over by the colorful geometric facade painting the back of the building. "I wanted it to be high-end, but playful," Traore smiles from his equally colorful apartment. "I wanted it to be a place where, granted, it is high-end but you're not intimidated by walking in." This approachable æsthetic is rooted in Traore's desire to blend not only cuisines and design visions but communities. Epitomizing this intention is a gallery in the hotel specifically geared towards featuring African artists Traore has tapped to partake in his residency program, with which he intends to "create a destination for artists to feel welcome, to feel appreciated, give them all the resources that they need in order for them to take their work to that next level."

Rōze Traore Broadens Horizons

Three painters, Nigerians Victor Olaoye and David Olatoye as well as South African Terence Ntsako, comprise the first cohort of residents at La Fourchette de Roze, having drawn Traore's eye. With the artists hailing from other countries, Traore hopes to spur an intercultural dialogue, particularly from different regions of the continent. "Just because you say 'Africa' doesn't mean everyone's been to the Ivory Coast," he asserts. "You could have some guys from South Africa or Nigeria. There's many things that represent what this continent is about."

When enjoying a stay at a hotel curated by a world-renowned culinary artist, one would be remiss not to partake in the house menu; at La Fourchette de Roze, the dishes blend classical Western techniques with Ivorian flavors to reflect Traore's lived geographies. "I have this classic dish," Traore points out, "pomme puree, dry-aged beef, beef jus. There's this spice in the Ivory Coast called kan kan kan. It's such an incredible blend of cayenne pepper, grounded peanuts, it's just a beautiful blend. I use that to season the meat."

With the launch of La Fourchette de Roze in the rearview, Traore is in the process of plotting his next steps. "Definitely a book," he lights up, "and a TV show." With all of these ventures past and present, Traore expresses gratitude for the opportunity to "build all these different muscles and ways to represent [my] vision." While looking to vault his career to the next level, he still wants the hotel (and his experiences curating hospitality in Grand-Bassam) to remain a focal point moving forward. "I want to continue to shed a light on this hotel and have it represent a bigger meaning. I think that's more of a long-term thing."

For more information, please visit La Fourchette de Rōze is now open at Abidjan, Grand-Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire.

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As a nonprofit arts and culture publication dedicated to educating, inspiring, and uplifting creatives, Cero Magazine depends on your donations to create stories like these. Please support our work here.