Ricky Lauren’s new book The Hamptons: Food, Family and History is the culinary equivalent of her husband’s retail lines: classic American with a rarefied edge. Lauren captures the essence of the Hamptons, the summer playground of New York City’s lucky elite seeking to escape the humid city and return to a more simple, seaside existence. Lauren is a writer and photographer who has written several other books, mostly centering on her experience and lifestyle. For the Lauren family there seems to be little division between the personal and the brand, and the family’s homes, tastes, and experiences have always been an important part of the Ralph Lauren mystique.

Lauren’s food ranges from simple family favorites to entrees that are more suitable for entertaining such as a roasted breast of veal, butterflied and rolled up with mushrooms and spinach. As befits any summer book you’ll find recipes for lobster, fish, summer vegetables, fresh fruit and more. This is the book to crack open when you come back from the farmer’s market, arms laden with warm weather bounty.

The presentation is part of the story and this coffee-table-worthy book is full of images of just what makes the Hamptons such a special place to be. The book includes stories of the many artists and writers who have also found inspiration on these sandy shores. Ricky Lauren is an artist as well and her charming watercolors of seaside life adorn many of the pages. There’s also a thorough examination of the architects whose designs enliven the local real estate. These sections, spaced throughout the book, add emphasis to what the book already proclaims, that there is something special about the Hamptons. The book is available from Wiley for $40.