Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Cami Cow

Cami Cow Vacabar Cabarete DOminican RepublicOften with pink hair, free flowing hippy clothes and a great fun loving personality, Cami Cow makes for an unlikely chef. Yet, the dishes she creates are finger-licking good and VacaBar, the snack-bar she opened in 2012 on Kite Beach, has a great vibe to it and is much loved by both residents and visitors.

Restaurant genes
Having grown up in Cabarete and born to French parents, Cami has always worked in restaurants when she was old enough to do so. She also did a spell as a kite instructor on Kite Beach on the precise same spot where her bar is now located. At the time a Belgian friend of hers called Lolo was running the bar at Agualina and she always preferred to be in the kitchen than on the beach teaching beginners how to kite.

cami cow cabarete dominican republic“I always wanted a beach bar and I wanted it to be on this particular spot”, Cami elaborates. “I used to work in a restaurant in Verbier [a mountain resort in Switzerland] for several seasons, and with Lolo we decided to swap jobs, which has worked out great!”.

With a formal education in cooking, which she did in Barcelona, Spain, and a lot of different restaurant jobs ranging from her dad’s restaurant on the French side of the Lake of Geneva, to Le Rouge in Verbier, her cooking influence is definitely European with a bit of San Francisco madness. “Especially this 24 year old female chef in Le Rouge was a great inspiration for me”, Cami highlights. “On the other hand, San Francisco is for me one of the greatest places for food inspiration.”

Growing up in Cabarete
“Growing up in Cabarete was very free and innocent at the same time”, Cami remembers. “Life was all about sports and after the session we would go out straight away with our harnesses still on. There would always be a lot of people from abroad and this being such a small community we would talk to everyone and anyone, so I think growing up here made us less shy and more open.”

Despite living close to one of the best beaches to surf on the island, Cami only started surfing after coming back from cooking school in Barcelona when she was 20. “I now love surfing even more than kiting”, she smiles.

Vacabar Cami Cow Kite BEach Cabarete Voices Lifestyle Cabarete Cow love
“No, my last name isn’t cow”, Cami laughs. “I adopted that name early on, because I used to love that cartoon, the one with Cow and Chicken. Also my real last name was impossible to pronounce for Dominicans, so that’s the story behind that one.”

When she had to find a name for her bar, the obvious option was pointed out to her only a few weeks prior to opening by one of her best friends, Susi Mai, when they were together on the Burning Man festival in Nevada.

Moustaches everywhere
Anyone who comes to Vacabar will immediately notice all the moustaches everywhere, which all started off with a simple moustache tattoo she has on the inside of a finger on her left hand.  “Basically, before trying to pass my driver’s test I paid this tattoo guy for the mustache tattoo, and said that I would get it if I got my license", Cami explains. "I passed the test.”

Since getting that tattoo, people have been giving Cami a lot of moustache related stuff. “Rings, underwear, glasses, necklaces, socks, straws, cutlery, baking forms… you name, I got it”, she smiles. “It’s great for the bar.”

Vacabar Cabarete Dominican RepublicVacabar
Apart from cows, moustaches and one of the best views on Kite Beach, VacaBar also has a lot of great food with some crazy out-of-this-world taste combinations: bacon and chocolate, caramelized toast and chili jam are but a few of the beautiful creations on taste.

“I love putting things that sound bad together and make them taste great”, Cami explains. “Our Sunday brunches are never really planned in advance and it’s just fantastic to have a whole table full of fresh produce and then invent beautifully tasting recipes!”.

This dog-friendly bar is open from 8:30am to 4pm from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday opening hours are from 8:30 to 2pm and Vacabar offers absolutely amazing brunches. During the summer of 2015 it’s open until 8:30pm every day.

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