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Meet the Joymaker: Stephanye Lagunes

stephanye lagunes

How long have you been a chef & where have you honed your skills? 

I started my path after I graduated from culinary school back in Mexico about 10 years ago. Then I moved back to Santa Barbara to really start my career and I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work at one of the best Hotels at that moment which was The Four Seasons, Santa Barbara. I had really good mentors there and I worked alongside Chefs with different backgrounds that helped me build my skills and strengths.

Afterwards, I wanted to try something different than Hotels and I gave it a shot at one of the best restaurants in town which was The Lark. My time there was very inspiring and challenging and made me realize along the way that I could achieve anything and that my cooking was going to give a lot of Joy to people. That's when I became a Private Chef during the pandemic and then Pure Joy found me or we found each other.


stephanye lagunes

What is the culture of Pure Joy? 

The culture at Pure Joy is enjoying what we do and coming together as a team so we can give our best in every single event and make sure that we are creating memorable experiences.


stephanye lagunes

What do you contribute to events (beyond truly exceptional cuisine?

I am one of the Chefs behind the scenes, preparing everything from scratch in our kitchen, and then making every dish perfect while being delicious on the day of the event. 

stephanye lagunes

What’s your favorite part of your work? 

Besides cooking, when I finally see all of the work that we put together in the final dish I can see all the happy faces and listen to all the compliments. 

If you were a dish, what would you be and why?

I would definitely be a Ramen. It is my favorite dish, but also because it’s bold, homey, balanced, and warm and I can relate to that.

stephanye lagunes


What do you do for fun?

I love music and I enjoy playing guitar. I like all kinds of sports and I'm a big soccer fan and I am a Liverpool FC supporter. I'm an explorer and I'm traveling every time that I have a chance.


What else do you want our readers to know about you?

I am very fortunate to have my life partner Nazly who has helped me become the person that I am today, as well as my parents and wonderful family that has supported me all the way. 

stephanye lagunes

A note from the Executive Chef, Marguerite Cerredo:

We are remarkably grateful to have Stephanye on our team! In addition to being an attentive and caring Chef, she always brings a great attitude and is a bright ray of sunshine to be around. Honest, compassionate, and generous people are hard to find, and hiring Stephanye was a breath of fresh air. It’s been captivating seeing her grow and soar; I can’t wait to see her become the best version of herself and astonish our team and our future and existing clients with her culinary talents.


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