BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: BEATRICE VALENZUELA

Sometimes you come across someone that lights up the room (or internet!) and you just have to know more. Enter Beatrice Valenzuela; the beautiful, creative and prolific mind behind Beatrice Valenzuela Studio, a design house that just happens to make some of our favorite footwear. But she's so much more; she's also a mother, a wife, a cook, a reader, an activist, a traveler and creator. Come along and see the world through her technicolor eyes, it's a sensorial sensation.

How do you start the day?

My routine has changed since quarantine, now that I don’t have to take my children to school or make lunches in the morning. I wake up late, around 10:30, and then I make a cup of Canyon Coffee with oat milk and brown sugar. Lately it’s been a giant cup of coffee, whereas before I would have maybe two little cups. Sometimes I make it in the french press, other times, the Chemex. I drink my coffee outside on the deck, and I'll sit out there and take in what I have planned for the day. Then I start my calls with my team, while I’m still wearing my nightgown and robe. 

What have you revisited during this time at home?

I repaired a rug that we’ve had for over 15 years. My partner, Ramsey Conder, found it at an antique store somewhere outside of LA. It’s felted, with an amazing embroidered scene of animals covering it. We usually hang it on a wall in our home, but it has been needing a little love for some time. I have been wanting to restore it for years, so we finally revisited and undertook the task of repairing it with my children’s help. We’ve been doing some home repairs, too. Painting inside, getting things together. Building our garden with the children, growing tomatoes, herbs, mushrooms, microgreens. Sprucing up the interiors. Just really checking in and giving the home we live in some love. 

How do you find time to take care of yourself while running a business and raising a family?

I make time for myself like I would an appointment. At the beginning, when I was a young mama, running my businesses, I would set time aside as if it were as important as any other meeting. It showed both my family and myself that it was the most important thing for me to do, because if I feel good and taken care of, I will be kinder, more fruitful in all of my interactions, between family, friends and business. There is a lot of respect around my time, whether it's me taking a bath, a siesta, or having the house to myself for a bit, my family understands that I need it. Painting my nails, reading a book, watching a film, these are all priorities for me that I ensure I make the time for.

What are you cooking?

Because I’m home all of the time, I’ve been able to cook recipes that require slow cooking. Slow cooked tomatoes, slow cooked Beef Brisket in Sake. Being home and enjoying the aromas of our next meal while working, tidying, reading a book, whatever it is I'm doing, there’s nothing quite like that, and I’ve been really enjoying it. I’m working on a cookbook, so I've had this amazing opportunity to workshop recipes I’ve been dreaming up. I cook so much and create a lot of my own recipes. I get inspired by everything around me, so if I find an exceptional dish, I make a note to include it for my book.

What are you reading?

I’m an avid reader and audiobook listener. I devour books in a day, more often than not. I just finished Luster: A Novel by Raven Leilani. I really liked it. Begin Again by Eddie Glaude I also just finished. The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante was incredible. 

I’ve been opening up In Pursuit of Flavor by Edna Lewis, almost everyday since I picked it up in Inverness over the summer. A phenomenal cookbook, I love this one. 

What are you listening to?

Much of what I listen to are audiobooks. I listen to audiobooks while I cook, and while I do anything that doesn’t require too much attention. Drinking coffee, applying a mask. Like I said, I go through them quickly, so almost everyday I’m listening to something new. I just started Americanah, and I am completely captivated. 

Do you have a favorite ritual?

Creating glorious flower arrangements for my home. I love to get a ton of flowers from the flower market, bring them home, and bring out my favorite vases. I’ll trim all my flowers down, and arrange them how I see fit. It’s my most calming ritual. A few days later, I’ll gather all the flowers again, change the water, trim them, get rid of the dry leaves, and attempt to extend their lives as long as I can. I try to keep them fresh and alive as long as possible. Something about this makes me feel so good, tending to my flowers in my vases. I’m also obsessed with vases, I have an extensive collection.

What is your skincare routine?

I barely wear any makeup at all anymore, so my routine is quick and non-invasive. I love the Botnia Face Wash, but I wash my face maybe every other day. Depending on what I was doing and where I was, maybe I’ll wash it two days in a row.

Throughout the day I will wipe my face with a damp cloth, and spritz rose toner by Poppy and Someday, maybe once or twice on a balmy, warm afternoon. I’ll use the Crema Al Polline by Santa Maria Novella on my face whenever I feel like I need a refresh.  

I use the Resurfacing Mask from Tata Harper whenever I’m lusting for an instant glow. My routine really comes down to washing my face when it feels right, and doing a mask once or twice a week. 

What is always in your fridge?

You can always find eggs, a variation of cheeses, and cold brine pickles I make each week. Usually there's saucisson sec, bacon, yogurt, milk and many different seasonal vegetables. There’s always ponzu and tamari, some sort of yuzu and chili jam or salsa macha. I keep my lavender and rose water face mists in the fridge, so I can enjoy a cold, aromatic spritz during the day. Orange blossom and rose water for beverages, cold brew, condensed milk for coffee and oat milk. And, almost always, food from the evening before. I store them in bowls and do a flat dish on top, that way I can stack them in the fridge. I don’t like keeping track of glassware and their lids. 

What is always in your pantry?

Lots of rice, a variation of beans including lentils, peruvians and black beans. Gluten free pasta and flour, steel cut oatmeal and popcorn are staples. Cans of anchovies, octopus and mussels, dried fruit and citrus peels, sumac, spicy smoked paprika, spices, maple syrup and brown sugar. A big jar of za’atar, olive oil, canola oil or vegetable oil are staples too. There’s always tea, usually hibiscus, rose, and green teas. Vinegar also, and bitters. Cappelletti, Campari, Wine, Mezcal and Tequila, always.

Go-to meal that you make for yourself more often than not? 

Octopus escabeche, harissa, on a little corn chip. Lovely little snack midday. 

Who or what is inspiring you?

Uplifting my spirit and educating me the most currently is Janaya the Future. From what their saying and sharing to what their wearing is all so inspiring. Definitely one of my current muses.  

What do you turn to, to make you feel your best: food and all the other practices?

Cooking a fantastic meal and enjoying an aperitivo as I'm preparing the meal makes me feel uplifted, preferably a Cappelletti Spritz or something accompanied by an herbal simple syrup I’ve made. If we are having guests for dinner, as I'm finishing up cooking, I love the moment where we all enjoy our aperitifs together, maybe while eating a little manchego and jamón. The happiest moments are really when there's others around, catching up and celebrating the end of the day, all the creativity that happened. To bring in the beginning of winding down and relaxing, maybe seeing the sunset, celebrating the culmination of the day and the pleasures of life, is such a treat.

Any exciting new projects you are working on that you can share?

There are a lot of new and exciting things happening. The cookbook is in the works, it’s a very long process that I am trying not to put too much pressure on, so that it can feel more organic and remain delightful. In terms of the studio, we have new pieces coming for this next cooler, holiday months. A purse reminiscent of a vanity box, made out of luxurious leather with a little mirror inside, an heirloom piece, really. We have a few new styles of shoes arriving, a clog, a heeled ankle boot, and a very sexy mule. Just in time for the holidays.

How do you end the day?

I slip into some delicate, pretty clothes, usually my Kyclades tunic, or the full set. I love gossamer linen, it makes me feel both sensuous and at ease. Then, I’ll spritz orange blossom water on my pillow before I lay down in bed.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes 

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Cut as many tomatoes as you wish in half, and place them in a pan you can roast in the oven, preferably cast iron. Add sea salt and olive oil to the tomatoes, and allow them to marinate for 20 minutes prior to roasting. 

Once ready, place the tomatoes in the oven for four hours. At about three hours in, add a thinly sliced piece of ginger to each tomato, and some freshly ground black pepper. Follow this up with a sprinkle of za’atar. Then, peel the rind of a lemon to place in the pan before the tomatoes go back into the oven. Be liberal with your lemon rinds, scattering them throughout the pan. Lastly, add bay leaves, and place back in the oven for approximately one more hour, until roasted to juicy perfection. 

Cappelletti Spritz

1/2 oz of Cappelletti, or more to taste

1/2 oz of lemon juice

Top with Sparkling Wine and plenty of ice

Garnish with a lemon round

 Rosemary Spritz

1/2 oz Rosemary, Mint and Lemon Zest Simple Syrup

1/4 oz or a splash of Red Vermouth

1/4 oz or a splash of Gin

A squeeze of Lime Juice

Top with a bubbly beverage of your choice, and plenty of ice

Garnish with fresh herbs from the garden

 


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