Why Chef Rōze Traore Will Always Love Butter - Exclusive

Though chef Rōze Traore was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, traces his family lineage back to the Ivory Coast of Africa, and has traveled the world cooking for myriad clients, in many ways, his heart belongs in France. Or, perhaps more accurately, his taste buds belong there. Trained at arguably the most prestigious cooking school on the planet, France's Le Cordon Bleu, French cuisine left an indelible impression on the young chef. It's one that has informed his cooking ever since, per his website.

When asked about his favorite type of food during an exclusive interview with Mashed, the chef thought about the question for a moment, then replied: "Yeah, this is a hard one, because I've had the pleasure of just traveling the world. Every time you think you're in love with this cuisine, you fall in love with another one, and you go down that hole... [but] of course, I'm biased, because of my French background. I just am also in love with the French cuisine. Everything as far as how prestigious everything is, and how a good amount of butter is in there. And that's my thing."

For the record, Traore also expressed a deep and abiding love for Mexican food, West African cooking, and more.

How chef Traore uses butter when cooking

For chef Rōze Traore, butter is not some afterthought of an ingredient — it's not a condiment to be added to the top of bread or drizzled over potatoes right before serving. It is, on the other hand, a core ingredient used all throughout the cooking process. In fact, when asked about a few of his most prized ingredients, it was butter the chef mentioned first. "I would say definitely some butter, definitely some salt. [And] I love black truffle. We're in mushroom season now as well. And so those are the routes that I like to take."

The chef went on to explain his process when he designs a new dish, something he is often commissioned to do both for private clients and for brands, such as the legacy French spirit brand Courvoisier. "When I work with a brand to curate the menu, I make sure that the flavors are balanced in each of the dishes. And for example, the classic representation of luxurious French cuisine, that features something like my duck dish, is something that I'm obsessed with. You have your duck jus that's also steeped with some truffles. You have your pomme puree and some vegetables. It's the silkiest potato that you could taste, just because of that whole process. And that, for example, is a medium-rare duck, braised with some butter, some herbs."

Follow Chef Rōze Traore on Instagram and be sure to check out his collaboration with Courvoisier.