Beatrice Valenzuela is an LA shoe designer who makes the most wonderful leather moccasins, sandals and slippers that are perfect for every occasion. They’re beautiful to be sure, but whatâ€™s even better is they are handmade in Mexico City and feature hand stitching, natural dyes and the soles are made of recycled tires. Of course, the woman behind the shoes is equally as unique and lovely. Beatrice Valenzuela lives in an airy, open home in Silverlake with her partner Ramsey and daughter Astrid, their dog Coyote and bird Alfalfa – plus a half dozen chickens and quails that call their backyard home.
The house is filled with art, furniture and crafts that the couple have made and collected from their incredibly creative network of friends and co-collaborators; Ramsey – a designer at the awesome Tesla Motors – crafted their wonderful wooden highchair and structural gold rings that Bea wears, while Beatrice made the stunning colorful weaving that hangs above the dining table.
The house is built around a lovely, light-filled kitchen, brimming with spices, fresh-picked veggies and well-used utensils. It is the perfect gathering place for friends and family to enjoy her delicious homemade food – we were even visited by a bluejay, a frequent visitor in Beaâ€™s kitchen who ended up with a little piece of bread for stopping by! To add to the fairytale-like setting was her picturesque tablescape: a fresh sautĂ©Â of leeks, mushrooms and peppers, delicious quail and duck eggsâ€”dyed bright pink with beet juiceâ€”and fresh lemon verbena tea, all set on beautiful linens by Beaâ€™s friend Rachel Craven. As you can see, her effortless entertaining style and generous hospitality make her a true inspiration to a new generation of homemakers.
WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL DAILY DIET? “We usually eat something I threw together using very fresh ingredients bought from Cookbook down the street or the local farmers’ market. Yesterday my family and I went fishing in the morning to Green Valley Lake and brought back three rainbow trout. I stuffed them with preserved lemon and fresh parsley, then drizzled olive oil and salt and pepper and threw them on the BBQ. I served the trout with heirloom tomato slices with Maldon’s sea salt and drank Mezcal. My husband, Ramsey, likes to hunt and fish, so we do eat his catch. It’s such a nice treat when he goes out about once a month. You never know what he’ll bring – sometimes rabbit, quail or even sea urchin.”
ENTERTAINING GO-TO: “If I’m throwing a large party, I love shopping at Super King. They have very nice produce, so I usually roast lots of vegetables and lightly dress them with olive oil and lemon. They have delicious olives and cheese. Their herbed pita bread is fantastic, which I love serving with feta cheese and Greek yogurt. You can purchase nuts in bulk and I especially like their almonds. I like to put them in the oven and then cover them in cinnamon. I love making a big batch of sangria and getting everyone drunk!”
DINNER ON A BUSY NIGHT: “On a busy night, I end up assembling a salad with some protein – whatever I have in the fridge, usually a merguez sausage, herbed trout or bacon. Then we have a ton of ice cream and go to bed.”
QUICK BREAKFAST: “Usually it involves eggs. I’ll either do soft boiled eggs with bread and fruit preserves, or make a fritata with whatever I can find in the fridge. Sometimes we will have cardamom coffee or black tea with soy milk or creme.”
USUAL WORKOUT: “I usually try to eat pretty healthy. I have celiac, so gluten free. For workout, I try to do yoga and Pilates weekly, and try to get some walks in the park with my dog, but it seems like lately not so much.”
NECESSARY INDULGENCE: “I absolutely always have Alderwood Smoked Salt Caramel Sauce by Morning Glory Confections. I like to have it drizzled over my vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso.”
FAVORITE RECIPE: “Rancheros with mushrooms and bacon.”
FAVORITE COOKBOOK: “My favorite cookbooks are the books by Sam & Sam Clark called Moro East Cookbook. I own all three which are Moro East, Moro and Casa Moro. I love the imagery and it is really easy to find the ingredients in Los Angeles. I’m always inspired when I read them.”
KITCHEN GADGET: “My knife – my Global Chef Knife. It is my favorite kitchen gadget.”
PANTRY ESSENTIAL: “I usually like to keep my dry goods in clear mason jars, which I keep on a shelf above the stove in my kitchen. It makes it really easy while cooking so I can see all my ingredients at eye level.”
INGREDIENT THAT MAKES EVERYTHING TASTE BETTER: Malldon’s Sea Salt. Delicious Olive Oil. and Lemon. This makes everything taste good. You can even put it on ice cream.