Farm to Table Finds a Home in Havana
And Vegans Find A Place To Eat
When you walk into the Camino al Sol (translated: Road to the Sun) café you could easily think you’re in Brooklyn, Highland Park or Notting Hill.
There’s the homemade spinach and eggplant pasta, berry tarts and bean burgers. Everything is organic and made right in the kitchen. The presentation is the work of artists and the ingredients are farm fresh.
When our Startup Cuba crew visited Camino al Sol the place was standing room only. It’s clearly the darling lunch place of foreign journalists and a growing health conscious set of Cubans. And there are also those in the Vedado neighborhood who drop in to simply say hello to Yuni Hernández, the owner, to have a juice or grab a bag of pasta for dinner.
Yet, just a couple of years ago the vision for this kind of restaurant in Havana seemed unimaginable…perhaps even ridiculous. Cuba runs on pork not vegetables.
Everyone knows that.
Yet, Yuni had a different vision for the Cuban palate. She didn’t happen to hear about farm-to-table trends in other cities across the globe and make a strategic market decision. Rather, her love for the earth and eating healthy have been homegrown.
While Cuba has had its challenges (including no wholesalers of food and limited food distribution mechanisms), Yuni says there have been some surprising benefits that have come from those limitations. “The fact that there’s limited industry in this country, means the palette isn’t distorted with chemicals.”
So, Cubans are naturally inclined to eat organically. Now it’s a matter of presenting more and more creative options.
And Yuni is determined to that. It’s her mission and her passion. “This new relationship with the earth gives you joy. It’s a different way to live.”
If you’d like to visit Camino al Sol while in Havana it’s located in Vedado at Calle 3 363 between Paseo & 2.
Cheers to eating artfully! “To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” ― François de La Rochefoucauld