La Vaquera


La Vaquera is rooted in place by the land. We cook over crackling wood fires, fragrant smoke, sun-warmed chaparral, the tang of tequila and generations-old recipes. Fresh ingredients fill our vibrant family kitchen. The character of La Vaquera comes forward in the restaurant’s atmosphere – there is a vivid immediacy here, to each moment, to the food and drink. Decorated with family heirlooms, utilitarian ranch furniture and the romantic flair of Old Mexico. You’re not a stranger here. It is at once familiar, friendly, alive and enchanting. Here is the real taste and feel of authentic ranchero cuisine.



An alumnus of the Culinary Institute of America, Aaron began his career with an apprenticeship at the Ritz Carlton, Buckhead under Gunter Seeger. Then for nearly a decade Aaron traveled extensively and worked with a wide range of world-renowned chefs such as Roland Passot, Laurent Gras, Francesco Berardinelli, and Eric Ziebold until landing in his own kitchen at the Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay. He has cultivated a long career as Executive Chef and Director of Operations in premier locations with leading brands including Rosewood Hotel Group, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, and the Google Mountain View campus. Aaron is eager to bring an innovative culinary experience to La Vaquera that is deeply rooted in San Juan Capistrano’s history.

Katy Babcock, Manager


Katy was home birthed and raised in Carpinteria but did spend some childhood years in Lake Tahoe. Katy attended culinary school at Santa Barbara City College. She says that food service and hospitality have always been a driving focus for her and source of fulfillment in her life. Katy loves the feeling of family in the guest relationships she and the team create and hopes to grow more, personally and professionally, every year.



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