Jason Alisharan & Andrea Silva Pre Wedding Gathering hosted by Jason’s Mother, Joyce Alisharan at Apple Creek Ranch in the Santa Rita Hills. Over 100 people joined the family to get the wedding weekend started with a perfect Santa Barbara Wine Country dinner. Adorable passed appetizers - or what we call, First Impressions - were Salmon Sliders, Tri Color Tutti Frutti Farms Chopped Heirloom Tomato Bruchetta and Olive Tapenade, Tiny Pans of Southern Belles; Juicy Slow Roasted Shredded BBQ Pork on Fresh Baked Mini Corn Muffins with Napa Slaw and Fresh Squeezed Margaritas.
Inside the barn Dinner Stations held more delicious menu items; a Farmer’s Market Salad Station with Corn Husk Muffins, Grilled Fresh on Site & Chef Carved Halibut with Sliced Citrus with Tropical Fruit Salsa and Bistecca Florentina; New York marinated in Fine Chianti, Rosemary and Garlic and Char grilled to perfection, served with Chianti Jus.
We had the pleasure of helping Amy and Melissa plan and Cater their amazing Wedding in Buellton, CA last October at Lavender Oaks.
A note from the couple;
"We cannot say enough about how fabulous our Wedding Day was! Working with Pure Joy Catering was wonderful. Dennis and his amazing team skillfully and professionally made our vision a reality. The food was artistic, beautifully presented, and served family style, conveying a feeling of a large boisterous family dinner with flavors of a five-star home-cooked culinary experience.Importantly for us, Pure Joy offered wonderful vegan option alternatives, and the staff was incredibly professional, organized, and made our day seamless. So much planning and anticipation goes in and we are very happy to say ours exceeded our dreams!” -Amy and Melissa
Beautiful corporate event celebrating the remodel of the 900 Chapala Street Building. Guests mingled and enjoyed passed appetizers & a delicious dessert table acted as an event centerpiece and was very well received. All photos by Rachel Hoyt.
Menu by Pure Joy Catering Executive Chef Lynette La Mere
*Mini Entree of Beef Bourguignon on Garlic Mashed Potatoes with a Parsley Asiago Crisp
*Crab Cakes with Chipotle Mayonnaise
*Tiny Pans of Southern Belles; Juicy Slow Roasted Shredded BBQ Pork on Fresh Baked Mini Corn Muffins with Napa Slaw
*Warm Demitasse Cups of Curried Butternut Squash Soup with a drizzle of Cinnamon Oil, Crème Fraiche & Chives
*Pumpkin Empanadillas with Whipped Fresh Cream Dip
*Belgian Endive Spears with Gorgonzola Mousse, Pears and a sprinkle of Walnuts
*Sun Dried Pears filled with Brie and Toasted Pine Nuts
*Garlic Ginger Chicken with Asian Chili Peanut Sauce
*Mai-Fun Crisp Shrimp Cocoons on Asian Spoons with Napa Slaw
*Potato Star & Caviar American Wild Caviar with Lemon Crème Fraiche on a Crisp Potato Star
*Ribbons of Grilled Filet on Toasted Circles with Olive Tapenade, Arugula & Roasted Garlic Aioli
*Frill ended Char Grilled Tender Baby Lamb Chops with Fresh Mint Pesto
Guests choose Deep Dark Chocolate, Raspberry, Coconut or Vanilla Bean pots of Crème Brulèè and they are torched to order
*Fresh Brilliant Local Berry Mascarpone Tartlets
*Diminutive Vanilla Bread Puddings with Bourbon Sauce
*Rich & Tiny Macadamia Nut and Belgian Chocolate Tortes
CELERY ROOT CARBONARA WITH SCALLOPS: EVENT CATERING LIKE A PRO
Think event catering is just for the professionals? Take these tips and cook like a chef to impress your guests. With the right ingredients and preparation, you’ll make it look easy!
Tip: When buying scallops, look for the freshest you can find. Avoid frozen scallops as these don’t brown when searing and lack flavor. A good test for fresh scallops is whether they’re dry in the packaging. When scallops have been frozen and thawed out, juices (and flavor) run out of the scallop.
3 TBS olive oil
2 TBS unsalted butter
3 cups peeled small diced celery root (also known as celery knobs) (NB: If celery root isn’t in season, you can substitute with parsnip or another root vegetable.)
2 TBS fresh chopped garlic
2/3 cup red quinoa
1 cup dry white wine (chardonnay works well)
¼ cup small chopped sweet onion
½ cup sweet peas (Frozen are fine if fresh aren’t in season)
¼ cup diced raw bacon of choice
A squeeze of lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium to large pot over medium heat, sauté bacon until just before it’s crispy.
Add 2 tablespoons of oil, onions and garlic and cook with bacon until tender (approximately 2-4 minutes) then add celery root and cook for 2-4 more minutes.
Deglaze with wine and reduce half way. Start adding quinoa (approximately half of it) and reduce over a low heat. Don’t let it boil or it will get messy. Add the remainder of the quinoa until celery root is tender.
Add peas and cook 2-3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
Season scallops. Heat a pan on a medium to high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. Sear scallops until golden brown and then flip. To know when they’re done, they should be firm to touch. Larger scallops will take about 6-8 minutes in pan (5 minutes over high heat getting them browned and 2-3 minutes over lower heat finishing them off).
When the scallops are done, plate up. Put the Carbonara mixture in a small bowl with one or two scallops on top per person. Drizzle with good quality balsamic.
C MAGAZINE, VIKTOR ARMAND HAMMER AND ANGELIA DE MEISTRE
Pepperdine schoolmates tie the knot, Fitzgerald style, in an elegant summer soiree at a Montecito estate with Pure Joy Catering.
A perfect day began with a nod to the bride’s English heritage. We did a wonderful full High Tea with all the trimmings touched off with Pimm’s Cups, a perfect refreshing light summer cocktail, little fresh scones, house made jam, devon cream and adorable tea sandwiches. Then went into stations with a delicious feast followed by elegant guests dancing into the night. It was a joyful celebration for a really lovely couple all pulled together flawlessly by Pure Joy Catering Operations Manager Patrick Ward.
(FAV VENDOR HIGHLIGHT; We love Nanette, she brings a very unique personal touch to the ceremony, she’s a joy to work with and she does an outstanding job really listening, that’s core to the PJC philosophy)
I am a Wedding Officiant and Life-Cycle Celebrant® specializing in modern and meaningful ceremonies for the Santa Barbara area. I enjoy working with couples who want a personalized and heartfelt ceremony. As your Celebrant, I work with you to create a ceremony that reflects your love, style, and any traditions you may want included in your ceremony. I bring a reverence and humor to my work and serve people of all faiths, traditions and sexual orientations.
From a couple ~
Nanette exceeded our expectations and then some.
Our ceremony was truly intimate, fun, relaxed, and memorable – everything we wanted. All of our guest commented on how much they loved our ceremony and Nanette’s delivery. Without hesitation, we would highly recommend Nanette.
Going to the market is always the best part of my week. I love all the people, just the quick game changing conversations alone could keep me coming back, but then there’s the smells, the sense of community, the colors… Just witnessing food come and go with the seasons; those first fava beans, the pea tendrils all the way to the persimmons, it’s the rhythm of our lives here. My Grandfather used to say that what grows around you is what you need to eat and when; eating’s not that complicated; the veggies and fruit just taste better when you’re supposed to eat them. I know it’s all on trend now but honestly it’s the oldest most simple concept on earth!
After all these years I still find new inspirations and I’m never bored with even the most basic produce - when it’s right from the farmer it’s always fantastic. As a catering company executive chef I get to go early; an hour before it opens tot he public. I have the place to myself and it’s so peaceful. I can get my giant cart around with no crowds, buy the most wonderful items, talk to the farmers, ask a few questions and they’re some of my most favorite people.
I keep track of what we have here each month - when things come and go, I have for years. As I plan menus for my clients up to a year in advance it really helps to know what I can look forward to finding at the market the week of their wedding. I created lists on our venue source website if they can be of use to you in planning your event, or, just give me a call at 805 963-5766 I’m Lynette and I’d love to help.
An Interview with MIKE POWERS, Pure Joy Catering’s Event Operations Coordinator.
Mike worked for Pure Joy Catering as an event server for two summers and was promoted to the Event Operations Coordinator position in September of 2013. He is a joyous addition to our team, always positive, smiling and willing to help while learning the many facets of the event industry.
An Interview with Mike~
What do you do here?
I tell people I have three jobs at Pure Joy: Event Supervisor, Event Designer and Warehouse Manager (that pretty much sums up exactly what he does!).
Whats your favorite part of working at Pure Joy?
I love all aspects of my job, but especially enjoy seeing it all come together from working with the event planners and chefs to organize and plan the design and implement the whole thing on site when I supervise an event. It is amazing to see the result of many months of planning, utilizing our amazing processes in place for a successful event.
What drew you to the Events Industry?
I enjoy the sociability of being around people, both at the Pure Joy Offices and on site. I plan to have this job for a while; it is an amazing learning experience and I love it! It is so awesome to be a part of such an incredible company.
What jobs have you held prior to this?
I was a lifeguard, a restaurant busboy, a construction worker, a coach at summer camps. While a student at UCSB, he trained as an Olympic hopeful on the Track & Field team. Upon graduation, he became a UCSB Track & Field Assistant Coach to teach others the dedication and commitment to being an athlete, as well as to continue his personal training goals.
What trends do you see in events for this year?
Lots of Rustic themes (mason jars and burlap anyone?).He sees events moving into more emphasis not just with food, but with design and décor, something he thoroughly enjoys!
What advice would you give someone who wants to get into the Special Event Industry?
Be prepared to work your butt off, especially during wedding season! If/when you put your heart into it and give it 110%, it is very rewarding!
What do you do for fun?
My passion is in running and track & field, I even have wings tattooed on my ankles/calves! I love being active, being outdoors and enjoying living in Santa Barbara with a new job and recently graduating from UCSB.
Mike is a joy to have on our team and we wish him much success in our family at Pure Joy Catering!
Some say it’s all about the dress! Look at these amazing drawings of brides in their dresses by Diane Bronstein. She shared these with me and I was instantly inspired! We share the love of art… hers in the dress and mine in the food! Capturing the wedding day can be done in so many ways, what a treasure for a bride to show herself off, literally as a work of art.
Diane’s artistic side is shown in this quote: “Great lines, beautiful colors, dramatic lighting, it is what makes my day. The world around us is filled with beauty and drama, and I want to capture it and hold on to it for one second longer by using my pens, paints, brushes or camera I was lucky to grow up with parents who loved the arts and exposed their 4 children to them be it thru listening to music, singing in the house, camping in a wooded park or taking us to one more museum or church. It is funny, when you are a kid there comes a time when you just can’t bear the thought of one more book of poetry, or paintings or trip to a museum. And then when you are alone, and on your own you find comfort in these little seeds your parents so carefully planted. I paint and do photography because it makes me feel alive and it preserves that moment in time.”
I am honored to write of such artistic talent in the world of weddings which are so dear to my heart. It is a pleasure to meet so many amazingly talented and wonderful people in my work as Owner and Executive Chef of Pure Joy Catering in Santa Barbara. There are so many facets in the process of planning and executing a wedding. It is amazing to find such joy in all of it!
OUR MESSY SEXY PUMPKIN, PROSCIUTTO and RED PEPPER LASAGNA!!
Our food is delicious and yummy… and sometimes a little messy sexy! We could spend time sculpting the perfectly artistic plate, but by the time you took your first bite, it would lose some of its glory and a little bit of its warmth. Instead, we pride ourselves on food that tastes good and flows onto the plate with one amazing bite of flavor after another. Our Executive Chef and Owner, Lynette La Mere, has been writing articles and submitting recipes for Food & Home Magazine for 20 years! Here is a sneak peak at the next one!
Pumpkin, Prosciutto and Red Pepper Lasagna
Serves 12 This is a party dish, it’s delicious, unusual and can be assembled ahead and baked an hour before serving. To make this lighter and quicker, 4 cups of prepared marinara sauce, mixed with a cup of light cream could be a substitute for the creamy cheese sauce in this recipe. Serve with crusty Italian bread, heated for five minutes at 350 degrees and then sliced, and a crisp salad.
Filling; 4 Tbl. unsalted butter 2 yellow onions, diced 6 cups peeled, diced cookingpumpkin or butternut squash 3 red peppers, seeded, cut into 1 inch squares 3 Tbl. olive oil salt and pepper
Sauce; 8 Tbl. unsalted butter 1/2 cup unbleached flour 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock 2 cups light cream 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese 1/4 tsp. nutmeg salt and pepper to taste
Assembly; 1 1/4 lbs. lasagna noodles, cooked al dente and drained 1/2 lb diced Prosciutto (another smoky ham would be fine) 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 10 X 15 inch pan.
Prepare the filling: Toss the squash and pepper with olive oil and roast on a sheet pan for about 30 minutes. Set aside.
Sauté onion in butter over medium heat until very tender, stirring as necessary to keep from burning, about 15 minutes. Toss with squash, season with salt and pepper.
Reset the oven to 350 degrees
Prepare the sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add stock, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking and cooking as you add it. Add the cream and cook until thick and smooth. Stir in parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
Assemble; Line the bottom of the pan with noodles. Sprinkle with half the diced Prosciutto and 1/3 of the sauce. Scatter with mozzarella cheese and sage leaves. Cover with more noodles, then all the vegetable filling, more cheese, and a cup of parmesan. Make another layer of noodles and top with the remaining ham, another 1/3 sauce and the remaining sage. The final layer has noodles, sauce and all the remaining cheeses.
Bake the lasagna 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting.
Lynette La Mere is the proprietor of Pure Joy Catering and a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara.
Shopping hints: All ingredients appear in bold-faced type and can be found at Farmer’s Market (for info call 805-962-5354), Lazy Acres, Tri County Produce