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Our latest news, ideas and activities

Say Cheeeessse Wheel Risotto Station
Pure Joy Catering Risotto Station


Groom, Jeff Schroeder & and his stunning new Bride, Stacey Popp, from Newport Beach are true curators of good taste indeed! Jeff is a co-founder of the Wine Gallery in Laguna Beach & Corona Del Mar, an accomplished Sommelier who also owns Schroeder Family Wines. They had a delicious idea for their Santa Barbara wedding reception perfectly coordinated by Jill Remy at Heart Stone Ranch. Jeff had a 2010 wheel of beautiful imported Parmesan split in half and the Pure Joy Chefs stirred in hot, fresh Mushroom and Local Herb Risotto to finish it off. The rich, fragrant deeply flavored cheese was an outstanding station idea and a huge success, of course. We filled the station out with Virgin Oil Herb Drizzled Fresh Grilled Local Vegetables. 

A second station offered Roasted Medium Rare Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Mushroom Bordelaise and Creamy Horseradish Sauce, Whole Fresh Mesquite Grilled Juicy, Santa Barbara Rosemary, Lemon & Olive Oil Chickens House Made BBQ & Chardonnay Lemon Caper Sauce.

This enterprising, entrepreneurial and creative couple were a joy to work with. I love when couples put the time and energy into making their wedding a unique celebration of who they are. It makes for such a memorable and enchanting celebration! 

These are just a few quick snapshots by Pure Joy Event Planner Patrick Ward we just couldn’t wait to show you! I imagine the adorable newlyweds, Jeff & Stacey, will be making yummy risotto in those cheese wheels and having a very delicious happily ever after for many years to come.

PJC Executive Chef, Lynette La Mere


 Anne Kling & Kevin Forbes Wedding took place this summer on an amazing Private Estate on Mountain Drive in Santa Barbara.  Their wanted a Sophisticated and Elegant Wedding & Reception which they accomplished with very subdued colors of White, Charcoal and Grey! 

The Wedding Event planner was our Rock star – Patrick Ward at Pure Joy Catering!  The hit of the evening was the Cubed Watermelon with Pistachio Crusted Goat Cheese Medallions Dressed with Local Honey, Mint and Lime and the Farmer’s Market Fresh Veggie and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette – both salads made fresh from our Farmers Market locally grown produce!  Check out our Pinterest Page of all the local fruits and vegetables that we incorporate in our dishes

The wedding was exquisitely photographed by Paul & Jewel – who are a husband and wife photography and graphic design team. They bring creativity with their two unique perspectives, and a sense of calm to every wedding and project they touch. They are humbled to be entrusted with the responsibility of creating treasured family heirlooms and honored to witness some of life’s most incredible moments, to connect with amazing people, and to artfully tell their beautiful stories through the photographs they create.  And they aim at creating totally fun, relaxed and personalized experiences for each of their clients.

Their music was DJ’ed by Scott Topper Productions.  Scott  served as tour host of ABC Radio Network’s “American Top-40.”  He also perform as an Emcee and a Disc Jockey at corporate and private events nationwide and recently hosted the 70′s and 80′s “Way Back Weekend” radio show for Cumulus Broadcasting. He is an industry professional who understands the intricacies of event music planning.  And he is also gifted at creating an ambience for lighting at any event. 

Anne’s floral were created by Grass Roots –Eileen,  at grass roots orchestrates an expert floral design team that specializes in creating striking arrangements from the most ornate to timeless classics. 

Do you have your dream team set up for your next event?  Call Patrick Ward at Pure Joy Catering – he will be more than happy to help you orchestrate your event with his expertise and easy going personality!  

Custom made to order Cakes
whimsical designs and themes
Season cakes to wedding supreme!
cakes for all occasions! All custom all sizes!


Your Cake Baker” comes from a long tradition of family bakers that first started in Denmark about 100 years ago! 

Wayne Kjar, owner of this bakery, is the son of a famous Santa Barbara cake baker, Mr.  Henning Kjar.  Wayne, opened his own bakery and renamed it “Your Cake Baker,” and within three years after opening it has been voted “Best Cakes in Santa Barbara” twice! 

Flavors, Fillings and Icings!

White, Chocolate, Marble, Lemon, Red Velvet, Banana, Spice, Carrot, Cappuccino, Mocha, Mango, Passion Fruit, Orange, Lime, Mexican Spice, coconut, Green Tea and several Gluten Free Options!

Filling Flavors: Bavarian Cream, Chocolate Mouse, Raspberry Bavarian Cream, Raspberry Chocolate Mouse, Lemon Bavarian Cream, Fresh whipped Cream, German Chocolate, Mocha Chocolate, Cappuccino Mousse, Passion Fruit Mousse, Lime, Orange and or Banana Bavarian Cream, Strawberry Whipped Cream, Fresh Strawberry Chocolate Mousse… You get the point they can do nearly anything your taste buds crave!

 Tastings are available and you can stop by anytime.  They nearly always have at least a couple of popular flavors/ filling combinations on hand to sample without an appointment.  Or you can set up an appointment and get a free tasting with 3 combinations of choices. 

Remember it’s always best to order 48 hours in advance!  They have two locations!

 Mesa:  2018  Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93109                          Montecito:  1150 Coast Village Dr., Montecito, CA 93108


Candy like cherry tomatoes, photo by Jeff Kincade who lovingly helps me at every Farmer's Market
Opal basil ummmmm fantastic with the yellow cherry tomatoes
Organic deliciousness as far as you can see!
I think this gals in charge of bugs
Ojai is famous for it's oranges
what a magical setting
rows of herbs at earthtrine farm
Lavender bunches photo by Martin Sundberg


I can’t remember the first time I bought something from Robert “BD” Dautch…but I can tell you it is one of the greatest pleasures in my weekly rituals. And after more than ten years of event season regular visits to his Farmer’s Market Stand I got the Golden Ticket! We were off to go see his farm - like Charlie finally getting into The Willie Wonka Chocolate Factory! 

With more than 100 Certified Organic different crops throughout the year, he grows a large selection of heirloom varietals that you just can’t find anywhere else. Absolutely pure inspiration for any chef. Countless fresh fragrant herbs, figs, oranges, melons, different onions, kales, fennel, radishes, fresh garlic, lettuces, pomegranates, tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes and mulberries are just a few of the treasures he produces.

Known by some as the “Organic Alchemist,” BD has been farming for more than 40 years. The farm name Earthtrine comes from astrology, referring to his family’s triangular combination of astrological signs. Otherwise known as “harmony of the earth elements, the Earthtrine farm in Ojai is a farmer’s nirvana.

Years ago I asked BD if he got to sleep in on Sundays and he said “Oh no! Sundays are mine, I get up very early & stay up as late as I can to maximize them!”. Genius words. Over the years he’s shared many tips and words of wisdom with me and I treasure his friendship very much.

For Earthtrine produce go to Farmers Market Tuesday on State Street Santa Barbara, Saturday in downtown Santa Barbara (my personal favorite) or Sunday in Ojai or a Pure Joy Event ;) 

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