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  • For those of us enjoying a much-needed stay-cation over the Labor Day holiday, a visit to the local farmer's market, bringing home a basketful of fresh vegetables, and cooking a simple but satisfying summer meal can be a delightful weekend activity. We love all of the recipes from renowned chef and food activist Alice Waters' cookbook, The Art of Simple Food, not to mention her philosophy of buying local, high-quality ingredients, and cooking them simply: a true pioneer of fewer, better food. Alternatively, if you're not in the mood for cooking, book a reservation at Ms. Waters' Michelin-star rated restaurant, Chez Panisse, in Berkeley: a pride and joy of Northern California cuisine, where the menu is dictated daily by what's fresh and in season locally.

    In particular, we love Ms. Waters' ratatouille recipe - classic ratatouille updated with a few modern details - reprinted below. Bon Appetit and Happy Labor Day!

    INGREDIENTS
    (Serves 6 to 8)
    1 medium or 2 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more to taste
    2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped
    1/2 bunch of basil, tied in a bouquet with kitchen twine + 6 basil leaves, chopped
    pinch of dried chile flakes
    2 sweet peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    3 medium summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    3 ripe medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    Salt to taste

    INSTRUCTIONS
    1. Toss the eggplant cubes with a teaspoon or so of salt. Set the cubes in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes.
    2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Pat the eggplant dry, add to the pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden. Add a bit more oil if the eggplant absorbs all the oil and sticks to the bottom of the pan. Remove the eggplant when done and set aside.
    3. In the same pot, pour in 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Add onions and cook for about 7 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, basil bouquet, dried chile flakes, and a bit more salt.
    4. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir in peppers. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in summer squash. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in tomatoes.
    5. Cook for 10 minutes longer, then stir in eggplant and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are soft. Remove the bouquet of basil, pressing on it to extract all its flavors, and adjust the seasoning with salt.
    6. Stir in the chopped basil leaves and more extra virgin olive oil, to taste. Serve warm or cold.

    #cuyana #fewerbetter
    #cuyana #fewerbetter

  • As August draws to a close, transitioning into autumn has never been easier with our modern, multitasking silk sleeveless dress. Ideal for immediate wear yet promising to be relevant throughout fall, this piece fits in as easily during work hours as it does during off-duty time.

    For work, slip the silk dress on underneath a blazer. We love this Zara one, and Theory has great options as well. Top it with a statement necklace (such as our hammered circle necklace, from our Bali collection) and add pointy toe heels for a clean, classic, professional look that transcends seasons.

    For after work or weekend, switch the blazer for an edgy leather-accented jacket, the heels for easy flats, and add a versatile purse to throw all your essentials in while art gallery hopping or hot spot brunching.

    Work: The Transitional Piece
    1. Cuyana Hammered Circle Necklace
    2. Zara Blazer
    3. Cuyana Silk Sleeveless Dress in Stone
    4. Jimmy Choo Suede Pumps

    Off-Duty: The Transitional Piece
    1. Helmut Lang Jacket
    2. Cuyana Silk Sleeveless Dress in Black
    3. Cuyana Tall Leather Tote in Black
    4. Repetto Ballet Flats

    #cuyana #style
    #cuyana #styleguide
    #cuyana #styleguide
    #cuyana #styleguide#cuyana #style#cuyana

  • Ahh, Labor Day weekend: that 3-day expanse in the year that separates the sun-kissed drawl of summer with the fresh resolve of fall. This year, falling elegantly at the exact junction between August and September, the holiday weekend is a chance for many of us to squeeze out the last drops of summer and return, refreshed and renewed for the new season. Below, we reveal a few special places that we will be traveling to for Labor Day weekend, as well as some of our favorite long-weekend pieces to pack.

    WHERE TO GO

    1. Solage Calistoga: A resort and spa located in the heart of California's Napa Valley, Solage Calistoga offers an unparalleled experience for sophisticated relaxation, premium pampering, and blissfully breathtaking views. For wine lovers, the resort is within 20 minutes of some of Napa's finest wineries (see below for more recommendations); for relaxation seekers, the spa provides an array of services that are luxurious as well as ecologically conscious, and the two outdoor pools are surrounded by private cabanas and within-reaching-distance cocktail bars; for foodies, the Solbar restaurant is lauded across counties as one of the finest in organic, sustainable, yet high-end cuisine. There are also extensive walking and biking paths around the resort for those seeking more adventure, and downtown Calistoga, chock-full of delightful cafes, shops, markets, is simply steps away.

    Fewer, Better Travel Tips:
    - Napa is the most well-known of wine country destinations, but consider visiting wineries near downtown Sonoma and Healdsburg as well. Some of our favorites include Gloria Ferrer winery in Sonoma for impeccable bubbly and views; Gundlau Bunschu, also in Sonoma, for an enlightening and just-the-right-length behind-the-scenes cave tour; Quivira Vineyards in Healdsburg for a friendly family experience, including a tour of their extensive biodynamic farm on-site.

    2. Mar Vista Cottages: An intimate collection of twelve cottages along the Mendocino Coast, this destination is a dream for foodies, who travel from around the state to vacation at Mar Vista. Each cottage is designed with a focus on simplicity and contentment: as one visitor describes it, "comfort lodging," similar to comfort food: "simple and very satisfying." Every guest is offered access to the organic orchard and garden located in the heart of the compound, tended to by a large clutch of hens. Guests can harvest their own meals from the garden, and cook the fresh ingredients just steps away in their cottage, each of which has a fully equipped kitchen.

    Fewer, Better Travel Tips:
    - If you're driving to the Mendocino Coast from the south, you'll pass Point Reyes, a stunning park preserve in Marin County which is home to stunning ocean-view hikes, not to mention many delectable oyster farms. Visit Tomales Bay Oyster company, just 5 miles north of Point Reyes Station, for fresh oyster shucking and picnicking right alongside the ocean.

    WHAT TO PACK

    1. If you're traveling anywhere where the sun will be out, a classic Panama Hat is always on point.
    2. Our travel case sets are the ideal companions to carry all of your vacation toiletries and cosmetics.
    3. The Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman is a beautifully written piece of non-fiction that is refreshingly light, and the perfect combination of entertaining, educational, and enlightening.
    4. We love these Giuseppe Zanotti gold sandals ... and spotted a very similar, equally shiny, much lower price point version in the summer sale section at Zara.

    #cuyana #fewerbetter