When Dino Papanicolaou dreamed up the concept for his Westlake Village restaurant, Cut 360, he married a Brazilian churrascaria (steakhouse) with the hearty American appetite for a new and unique culinary adventure.

Borrowing from the cooking style of old-time ranchos, Cut 360 slowly roasts their meats on skewers over an open fire. Tableside chefs bring the meat, still on skewers, to each table where patrons choose their cut, which is sliced and served right there. The skewer is then re-seasoned and placed back on the fire so each piece of meat is roasted from the outside in.

“It’s an endless tasting experience where the chef comes to your table to serve you,” Dino explains. “It’s interactive, with the chef explaining meat cuts, seasonings, flavors.”

Tableside chef Raymond Curtis Brown brings a skewer of meat directly from the open fire to a guest’s table.

Fried Bananas

2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. cinnamon, ground
3 bananas, medium-sized
2 eggs, whites only
½ cup unseasoned breadcrumbs

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Slowly add brown sugar and cinnamon, stirring until well combined.
Cut each banana in half and place in saucepan. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes until banana is softened and golden brown.
Whisk together egg whites. Coat each banana lightly, then top with breadcrumbs and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Grilled Pineapple

1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon, ground
1 fresh pineapple

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside. Cut rind off pineapple. Quarter pineapple lengthwise and place on skewers.
Rub dry mixture on pineapple slices. Place on grill for 5 to 6 minutes. Serve immediately while still hot.

Caipirinha

½ lime
½ tsp. sugar
2 oz. Cachaça or other Brazilian rum
Mint leaves for garnish

Slice lime into ½” rounds, then cube and muddle them in a small tumbler with sugar. Add ice and pour in Cachaça.
Garnish with mint leaves.

Lamb Empanadas

Makes 4 servings

3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. dried currants
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
Kosher salt
black pepper, freshly ground
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
¾ tsp. ground cumin
¾ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cardamom
¼ tsp. ground turmeric
½ lb. Australian leg of lamb, grilled*
1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
⅓ cup peas
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
All-purpose flour (for surface)
1 large egg, beaten to blend
Your favorite pastry dough

Bring vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan. Add currants; set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until browned and softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomato paste and spices. Cook until fragrant and sticky, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Add grilled lamb. Stir in peas; cook until bright green, about 5 minutes. Drain reserved currants and add to lamb along with parsley. Let cool.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 12″ square. Cut into 4 squares; transfer to 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Spoon filling onto one side of squares, leaving ½” border. Brush edges with egg and fold dough over filling. Press to seal; crimp with a fork. Cut a few vents in tops; brush with egg.

Bake on a middle rack at 350° until pies are golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.

* Use lamb that is pre-grilled instead of ground. It is much more flavorful.

Southern Chicken n' Waffles

Southern Chicken n’ Waffles

2 cups flour
¾ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 large pasture-raised eggs, separated
1½ cups milk
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. pure Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients, mix well. In a separate bowl, mix together lightly beaten egg yolks, milk, butter, and vanilla. Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter. Spoon onto hot waffle iron and cook until golden brown, about five minutes. Top with chunks of fried chicken. Finish with butter and maple syrup and serve hot.