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Our latest news, ideas and activities

A perfect welcome table by Pure Joy Catering Event Designer Mike Powers
All hands on deck greeting guests with beverages so there is no bar line really helps!
Amuse Bouche Seared Diver Scallop with Star Anise and Leeks on a Jarlsberg Crisp,Persimmon Dollop
Pure Joy Catering Breadboards with Herb Pressed Butter & Maldon Salt
Family Style service passed and to the table right off the grill!
Buffet options are fun & endless!
Family Style Yummy Tenderloin
Wedding Day's Catch Fresh Authentic Spanish Paella, photo Melissa Musgrove
Pure Joy Catering's Famous Fresh Taco Station with Chef Gaby Perez, photo by Vinson Photography
Farmer's Market Salad photo by Vinson Photography


Pure Joy tricks to making dinner service smooth, delicious, memorable and fast so guests can get onto the party activities.

After thousands of wedding you learn some tricks of the trade that have become standard procedure at Pure Joy events and really ensure a seamless evening for our brides & grooms.  Service starts right when guests arrive, often from a long drive or a hectic dolling up at a local hotel. We want their first impression to be refreshing & welcoming so one of the most popular items we offer for weddings is a Welcome Beverage Station. We have a variety of fresh, colorful and delicious beverages we display in big icy jars right when guests arrive for ceremony.  The Farmer’s Market Berry Spritzer, the Honeydew Basil or Watermelon Grapefruit Agua Frescas are some popular ones.

The next opportunity for genuinely meeting your service needs is directly following the ceremony – whether it’s there at the reception venue or whether the guests are arriving from another venue en mass; our philosophy is “instant gratification”. I’m always baffled when attending a hotel or country club wedding that all 100 guests are expected to go wait in line at a bar to start cocktail hour! Choosing a Specialty Cocktail or two is one way to speed up service & convey your style as a couple with something fresh and fun. At Pure Joy we have proven simple standard procedures to see that everyone gets a cocktail within 5 minutes. After that passed appetizers begin circulating & keep coming for the whole cocktail hour.

Next is dinner and there’s many ways you can choose to razzle dazzle your hungry guests.  We like to start with a preset Amuse Bouche, a plated salad or what we call Tuscan Table Décor which is beribboned bundles of fresh fragrant herbs, marinated olives, hearth baked breads, Pure Joy Roasted Garlic Dipping Oil and little terra cotta pots of pretty bread sticks.

Dinner service can be seated & served with a plated preselected choice of entrees – where guests are choosing their dinner selection via invitation and the bride is tracking what the guests want & where they’re seated or plated duet – this is the most popular plated option, where everyone gets a smaller portion of both entrees and all the bride has preselect is how many vegetarians there are. I started this years ago as a far more easy way for the guests to be happy & the bride to have an easier time of it, after watching couples share their different choices anyway or forget what they ordered so long ago when they responded to the wedding invitation.

Another popular option is Family Style, this is where first course & breads go out first then the remainder of the menu is served to each table on platters and passed around. With any of these choices first course can be individually plated or served Family Style. 

Plate out with Pure Joy will never take more than 20 minutes regardless of guest count as the staff is matched to the needs of each event. This is impressive for off premise catering and is rarely achieved even in a restaurant or hotel.

If you have a lot of children attending do consider having a special meal plated for them or a whimsical children’s buffet.

If you’d rather have the guests up & more participatory with a little more sizzle, buffets or stations are great ways to go. We also have wonderful systems to keep this type of reception moving smoothly, quickly & avoiding lines.

Off premise large special event catering can be a fine art and Pure Joy has spent many years with an excellent staff honing this skill to perfection. This is all we do – cooking & catering out in the field for large groups often out of a tent or garage, so we have it down to a science.

To Contact us for your wedding; Please Call 805 963-5766 or E Mail us at Events@PureJoyCatering.com & let the celebrating begin!

Executive Chef & PJC Owner, Lynette La Mere

Beautiful succulent center pieces
Floral Accents
Floral headdress
Succulents - sustainable flowers!
Bridal party!
name tags for table placements!


 Terra Malia is one of our Preferred Vendors that we would like to feature this month!   Her design offers up an assortment of floral and succulent selections for weddings, corporate events and other extraordinary occasions! 

Terra is an enthusiast for all things natural, vibrant and sustainable. The inspiration from her designs comes from her love of the ocean and earth. She was born and raised on the Hawaiian Islands and lives in Santa Barbara with her husband and two daughters.  She grows her own succulents and purchases cut flowers from regional farmers and she also has an array of props!  You can view more of Terra’s creations by clicking here to her pinterest account!

Terra,  has had a love affair with succulents for decades. She appreciates how these plants can be easily propagated and thrive in harsh conditions and will continue to bloom wildly elegant and colorful blossoms.  She is proud to work with regional farmers to find the freshest, most sustainable flowers available for her weddings and events.

 Terra’s Husband David Forston  - and a few friends seeded the idea of a ‘lifestyle company’ and in 2009 David took the helm of “LoaTree,” a company that combined his experiences as an eco-advocate and businessman. Believing business is one of the most powerful and dynamic agents for making a better planet, LoaTree focuses on connecting and inspiring people to live for a better world. Pure joy Catering  also shares in the same philosophy in helping Santa Barbara get green! Please check out this article. 

As you can see from the above photos Terra’s love for natural beauty shows in her creations, as she has a talent for showcasing the elements that are alive within plants.  Hopefully you too will  share some of Terra’s creations in your next event!

Photography but Willa Kveta.


Lavender Lady Cocktail, Pure Joy Catering
Royal Velvet lavender, one of the sweetest Lavandula angustifolias


This is one of our most popular specialty cocktails. We just got a few more requests for the recipe so I thought more people might like it so I’ve made a batch recipe for parties. Lavender is just SO Santa Barbara and it’s fun to use it for entertaining.

We get culinary lavender at the Farmer’s Market. I prefer the Royal Velvet lavender, one of the sweetest Lavandula angustifolias varieties which are best for culinary purposes, but all lavender is eatable. 

 To make the lavender simple syrup;

In a saucepan combine the sugar with an equal amount of water, bring the water to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, bruise & add the lavender. Cook the syrup, undisturbed, for 20 min. Let the syrup cool until it is lukewarm and strain it very well. Chill

To make a 60 ounce Pitcher of Lavender Lady Cocktails;

 4 cups vodka or gin

1 cup st germaine

1 cup lavender simple syrup

1 cup lemon juice

stir well.


Prepare the Glasses run a lime wedge around the rim to give it a bit of flavor.

Fill the glasses with ice.

Top with the blend above & garnish w a sprig of culinary lavender & a spring of mint or lime wedge.

By Pure Joy Catering Executive Chef; Lynette La Mere

The sign says it all... Yum!
Homemade on the premises Gluten free Corn Tacos
Fresh Grilled Fish, Shrimp, Potatoes and Tofu Chorizo
Beautiful Platters of Fresh Grilled Local Organic Summer Vegetables
Fingerling Potatoes
*Cupcakes Displayed on three tiered stands with floral and berries (Dairy Free Coconut w/ coconut cream frosting, GF Vegan Chocolate)


The new hype in diet trends is to go Gluten free.  I am sure you know someone who is gluten intolerant or has a special needs diet.  We pride ourselves in accommodating not only any cultural (Indian, Mexican, Korean…) menus but also for Gluten, Dairy and or Vegetarian needs as well!  Here is a Menu from a wedding we did last week which was was all Gluten and Dairy free!  Who says that you need these ingredients to be delicious! Check out their menu below! 

 First Impressions – Passed appetizers:

Warm Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms & *Sweet Corn Tamale Poppers with Homemade Salsa

Followed by a plated Cubed Watermelon with Pistachio Crusted Goat Cheese Medallions Dressed with Local Honey, Mint and Lime

Stationed Mediterranean Mezze of  Local Goat Cheeses, Homemade Red Pepper Hummus and Baba Ghanoush, Toasted Pita Points, GF Rice Crackers, Local Organic Veggies, Figs, Dates, Pistachios, adorned by Urns of Beautiful Tangerines and Grapes!     

Soft Taco Station: Tortillas Freshly Handmade on location Fresh Grilled Fish, Shrimp, Potatoes and Tofu Chorizo, Fresh Cilantro, Tomatoes, Spicy Salsas, Shredded Cabbage, Radishes … you get the idea!    

Grill Station: Beautiful Platters of Fresh Grilled Local Organic Summer Vegetables, Split Sautéed Fingerling Potatoes *Brown Rice Organic Pasta Puttanesca, Savory Plum Tomatoes, Virgin Olive Oil, Capers, and Kalamata Olives and *Grilled Local Halibut

Saucy Station:  variety of Sauces to choose from Tropical Fruit Salsa, Spicy Salsa, Vegan Arugula Pesto and Harissa

Dessert Station:  Vegan Chocolate Covered Strawberries *Gluten / Dairy Free Fresh Baked Cookies,Cupcakes Displayed on three tiered stands with floral and berries (Dairy Free Coconut w/ coconut cream frosting, GF Vegan Chocolate) .

Have a special needs Menu to plan?  Give us a call, we promise to make it delicious!  

Where we said "I DOs"
Blushing bride with brides maids
Barn back ground!
Pure Joy Catering Appetizers!
Fresh Mesquite Grilled Juicy, Rosemary, Lemon & Olive Oil Marinated Chickens
Cheers! to a splendid Wedding - a rarity to see the bride & groom actually eating!
Ceremonial cake cuting!
Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Greco!


Sanford Vineyard is the perfect setting for the wedding of your dreams!  It’s unique, romantic and unforgettable, not only for you but for the family and friends who gathered to celebrate with you on your special day! Don’t get us wrong there are many vineyards to choose in the Santa Barbara wine country –  the Vineyards and Wineries had their start with Sanford Winery.  In 1971 Sanford Winery and Vineyard discovered an overlooked, grape-growing treasure in The Santa Rita Hills.  Distinguishing a delightful combination of climate and soil conditions much like those in France’s famed Burgundy Province, Sanford planted the areas first Pinot Noir!   

Kate & Jeff Greco chose this magical setting for their ceremony and reception!  And of course, Pure Joy Catering was there to create a magnificent dinner of the following beginning with: Fresh Corn & Queso Fresco Tamale Poppers; Wedges of Grilled Tortillas with Brie, Cherries & Caramelized Onions, Mango Confetti Garnish and Crisp Braised Short Rib Egg Rolls with Sizzling Saigon Dip.  Followed by Tossed Organic Baby Greens with Feta, Toasted Pecans, Cherries and Fresh Orange Vinaigrette;  Hearth Baked Breads and Foccacia with Provincial Dipping Oil: Accompanied with Summer Penne with Young Local Asparagus Sorrel Sauce along with Beautiful Platters of Fresh Grilled Local Vegetables with a  Virgin Oil Herb Drizzle;  Fresh Mesquite Grilled Juicy, Rosemary, Lemon & Olive Oil Marinated Chickens and Grilled Fresh on Site; USDA Choice Medium Rare Tri Tip of Beef with Madeira Green Peppercorn Sauce!  My mouth is watering! 

Kate & Jeff, chosen colors were orange, white, yellow, & pink which added to a natural rustic style that they wanted for their wedding day celebration!  Shelly Vinson, their photographer, truly captured their day as you can see from the attached photos!  Shelly is a Wedding and event photographer base, but not limited to the Santa Barbara Area.  Vineyards and Estate Weddings are something that she thoroughly enjoys photographing.  She gives the whole event an artistic and journalistic approach! 

The whole event was beautifully planned by Alizabeth Schotten one of our in house event planners!  And their Wedding Coordinator Haley Brantley, who was enthusiastic about their vision and delivering a wedding that, fitted their unique style.  Please feel free to contact them for your next special event!

scrumptious fresh ginger peanut scallops. Photographed by Lucus Oliver Oswald
Fresh Santa Barbara Farmers Market Ginger
Chop chop! Can you smell it?!
Ginger fresh from the ground
Fresh Scallops!
fresh ginger


I want to put this in your mouth! You’ve got to taste it! The scent and flavor is so bright and inspiring it has me reeling with uses for it. This is one of favorite finds at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market this year - so far. Fresh ginger is tender and not fibrous like it gets later. No need to peel it either, cut off the green stems and it’s totally usable – gotta love that. I just found these fresh roasted peanuts at a farm up north, my chives are about 2 feet long now so all together it made the most smashingly face slappin’ Encore! Encore! Entrée I just had to share it.

 Fresh Ginger Scallops

This would be great with a good local fish too or even beef. It may seem long but it’s fast & easy. We loved it with coconut rice; just regular rice but swap ½ the water for coconut cream and add a ½ cup of toasted unsweetened coconut before you turn on the pot or rice maker.

4 large servings

 2 lb scallops

whole fresh ginger, chopped & smashed into the scallops, refrigerated a few hours.

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Stir together & set aside by the stove;

Juice of 1 lime

1.5 Tbl. Fish sauce

2 tsp. agave

3 Tbl. Water

 Heat a large sauté pan. Add olive oil & sear the scallops enough to give them just a bit of color then lay them out in a serving dish that they fit in well and set them aside.


torpedo onions, or small other onions (I love the smaller sweet red ones from Farmers Market)

whole fresh ginger

1 bunch of fresh chives

2 small red Thai chilies, sliced into rounds

4 cloves garlic

One cup herbs; 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, Thai basil & mint

¼ cup roasted unsalted peanuts (these just split in halves)

Put the Scallops in the oven. Wipe the sauté pan clean the heat a few tablespoons of olive oil. Stir fry the onions & ginger a few minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients. Stir a minute or so then pour in the lime juice mixture. Reduce that all a few minutes.

Pull the scallops from the oven and mop out the fluid they’ve given off with a paper towel. Pour the sauté pan sauce over them and return to the oven just about 5 minutes.

Lynette La Mere

Pure Joy Catering Executive Chef

Its 5:00 o'clock somewhere! #purejoycatering
Amazing Specialty Cocktails! #purejoyspecialtycocktails
Watermelon Mojitos and Margaritas! #Cocktailhour
You can see all the scrumptious ingredients made with love! #watermelonmojitos
Mocktail or cocktail hour! #mocktail
Signature drinks deserve signature touches - straws, lavender and mint!
Elegantly served to your liking!!


Pure Joy Fresh Squeezed Margaritas

Makes about 2 pitchers.

1 cup and 2 tbl. sugar

1 cup and 2 tbl. water

4 ½ cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 ½ cups fresh-squeezed orange juice

1 ½ cups fresh-squeezed lime juice

3 ¾ cups tequila

1 ½ cups Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Grand Torres or Triple Sec

Kosher salt

6 limes, garnish

Boil the sugar & water till clear and cool it. Blend together the rest. Moisten half the glass rim with a cut lime & salt it. Serve over lots of ice.

Pure Joy Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

This goes out year round, sometimes with fresh mint, cherries and a bit of cherry juice, raspberries and a bit of raspberry juice, or culinary lavender from the farmers market (steep it with a portion of the water & sugar to make a simple syrup) the options of additions are endless. I made it for the Montecito Union Elementary School fair for many years using red vine licorice with the tips snipped off to make the straws for the children, now its most often made as an icy welcoming pre-ceremony wedding beverage.

 3 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 3/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup honey

6 oz pure fresh raspberry, cherry or strawberry juice (optional)

2 1/2 quarts of good water

lemons, sliced

To make the base; whisk or stir just the lemon juice, sugar and honey until no longer granular. That’s it, you can add raspberry or cherry juice if you like then when you want to serve it add the water as indicated, lots of ice, sliced lemons and whole berries or mint if you like. To make a smaller amount at a time just top one third part lemonade base with two thirds part water & lots of ice.

Pure Joy Farmer’s Market Melon Mojitos

Yield 2 1/2 Pitchers

Refreshment defined; Mojitos do justice to fragrant, fresh mint and are easy to make in batches. For variation you can run fresh ginger through a juicer and make ginger Mojitos or puree fresh fruit; like watermelon, or the outstanding heirloom melons at the Farmer’s Market right now J

1 lb. of watermelon (or any fragrant market melon)

1 cup simple syrup (half water, half sugar, boiled until clear)

1/2 cup lime juice

3 cup light rum

1 bunches organic fresh mint

limes, cut in chunky wedges

one liter bottle club soda

Meyer’s dark rum to float (optional)

Peel chunk & puree half of the melon, use the other half for garnish. Once the simple syrup is cool, add the lime juice, melon puree and rum to it in a pitcher to create the base. Pluck the leaves from the washed mint and bruise them with a molcajete (Mexican stone mortar and pestle) or crush them with a spoon in each glass, a large pinch for each glass will do. Top the mint with 3 to 5 wedges of lime and fill half way with the base. Top that with ice, club soda, melon garnish and float a splash of dark rum on the top. A cocktail straw is important with these.

Cheers!  Ching ching!


 Their Ceremony on the beach followed by a reception at a private Montecito residence was perfect for their small intimate wedding.  Their theme colors were Teal and Black and beachy!

The bride looked absolutely stunning in her white bridal gown and long flowing veil - she looked like royalty.  Their small intimate wedding was a sweet reflection of their wedding vows – and Sharon’s smile says it all! 

Pure joys delicious dishes passed appetizers of Mesquite Grilled Shrimp with Citrus Mint Dipping Sauce and Cocktail Turkey burgers; Perfect bite sized burgers with all the trimmings!  Dinner was USDA Choice Medium Rare Tri Tip of Beef with Madeira Green Peppercorn Sauce: Pan Sautéed Salmon with Beurre Blanc with Local Heirloom Tomato Slaw accompanied with Tomato, Shallot & Chive Rice and Farmer’s Market Fresh Veggie and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette!  I already getting hungry! 

 Perfectly Coordinated by Patrick Ward - Pure Joy Catering’s Operations manager. Planning a  beach wedding?  Hope this inspire will you with your choices!

Sweet memories!
themed wedding party colors mint green accents
Mr. & Mrs!
The bridal party begins!!
Table setting with mint green accents
Homemade berry pie for dessert
Every girl wants to be a bride someday
Happily ever after!


Ana Loaiciga &Travis Smith Spring Wedding was anything but uninspiring!  Their wedding theme of burlap & Lace along with their Venue at the Lincourt Winery truly set the mood for the day! 


Their photographer Kate Noelle stunningly captured the day and tied in the back ground of the Vineyard with Ana & Travis’s chosen wedding colors of Mint & Saddle brown.  The inter-wrapping of lace in the Bouquets and Vases on the table and also on the rectangular Runners of Burlap & Lace on the tables set their theme along with the backdrop of the vines and the panoramic view of the mountainside only added to their chosen palette colors for their day!  As you can see from the photos – a themed wedding adds to personal touches from the bride and groom. 

They had very special touches for their wedding which included the sweet notes display in the suitcase trimmed in Mint green and Lace as well as their flower girl pulled in the wagon and the aisle lined with yellow rose petals and hanging glass bouquets of flowers wrapped in burlap and lace!  Magical touches for a magical day!  Where do you want to add some personal touches to your next special event? 

Please ask our Event Coordinators that we have on staff here at Pure Joy Catering ~ Patrick Ward; Alizabeth Schotten, Dennis Barringer and Ellen Reid!



Please join us in introducing a super cool element to events!  Smith Turpin Video Lab is bringing optical phenomena from nature into human spaces!  The have been involved in creating this since 2009  - Searching and adventuring into hard to reach places - From the scared sites of Indonesia to  the Crevasses of a bee hive!  Providing their clients with their shared experiences of wonder by making extraordinary displays of lights!  Any party would benefit with this added ambiance!

The dynamic duo Jonathan Smith and Ethan Turpin have had interesting paths before joining a partnership.  Jonathan spent quite a few years as a voracious traveler covering over 80 countries – which helped him turn his  adventures and making them into an art form!  The art of light!  His large scale installations involve combinations of light, sound and video production.   Ethan formally studied Sculpture and began focusing on spaces with cameras and optics… He worked in art museums and galleries.  Both Artists bring an explorer’s spirit to their work as you can see from the photos!  Check out their video. 

“For weddings,” says Ethan Turpin, “we’ve found that swaying palm trees, or slow-moving bubbles reminiscent of Champagne, are the kind of imagery that can really stitch a receptions together.  We tailor the content and layout to any specific event, whether it’s outdoor or indoor.   For instance, trees take bold, white-on-black water patterns really well.”  Sometimes “blowing up” a party is exactly what’s needed to create an ambiance.  Or using Rhythmic patterns and colors connected to music can turn a good party into a not-to-missed bash!

Your next event can be made even more spectacular with some extraordinary displays of light!  Let them help you dazzle the surroundings of your next event!