epiLocal chefs share their favorite holiday recipes. 



Mediterraneo: Nutella Chocolate Truffle

1 cup dark chocolate morsels
1/3 cup Nutella
1/2 cup cream
2 tbsp. butter
3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
Cocoa powder, for dusting

Put dark chocolate, Nutella, cream, and butter in a bowl. Place bowl in a double boiler and heat until melted. Fold in the chopped hazelnuts. Transfer to a Pyrex container, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least two hours, or until chocolate becomes firm enough to scoop into balls.

Scoop chocolate using a small scoop or teaspoon and form into balls in the palm of your hands. If the truffles start to stick to your hands, dust your palms with cocoa powder, then continue to roll. Dust each truffle with cocoa powder. Refrigerate in an airtight container, but bring to room temperature before serving for best taste and texture.

For variations, you may leave hazelnuts out of chocolate mixture and instead roll truffles in finely chopped hazelnuts. Also, you may add 1 tablespoon of espresso powder one and one-half tablespoons of coffee liqueur or 2 tablespoons orange liqueur and one teaspoon grated orange zest.

medi and stone

32037 Agoura Rd.
Westlake Village
Chef Lisa Biondi



banana cake

The Stonehaus: Banana Rum Cheesecake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 egg
4 oz. unsalted butter, melted
Banana Layer
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. dark rum
3 large firm bananas,
16 oz. cream cheese, .room temp
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup toffee bits

Cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees low fan for convection oven, 350 degrees for regular oven. Lightly grease a 9” springform pan. In large mixing bowl with electric mixer, paddle attachment combine cake mix, eggs, and melted butter, and mix until smooth and combined. Press evenly into bottom of prepared pan.
Banana Layer: Heat sauté pan over medium high heat and add butter and sugar until melted and bubbling. Stir in rum and cinnamon, add bananas, and stir to coat. Pour evenly over crust.
Filling: In same mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla mixing until smooth. Mix on low to medium heat to avoid beating too much air into the batter. Stir in toffee bits. Pour batter over bananas smoothly, evenly, and tap on counter to avoid air bubbles. Place pan on baking sheet and bake 60-75 minutes. Cake top will brown, but you can tent with foil after 30 minutes to avoid overbrowning, just make sure foil doesn’t touch cake. Cook until set around edges, but still jiggly in center. Cool on rack to room temperature, then refrigerate at least six hours or overnight.

medi and stone

32039 Agoura Rd.
Westlake Village
Chef Lisa Biondi




morton cauli

Morton’s The Steakhouse: Mashed Black Truffle Cauliflower

2 lbs. cauliflower, trimmed, cut into florets
5 garlic cloves, sautéed in olive oil until soft and golden brown
3 tbsp. cream cheese
½ cup butter, unsalted
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated and 6 tbsp. to top dish
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup half and half
1 tbsp. black truffle shavings
½ tsp. truffle oil, white
1 ½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. black pepper

Set up a steamer on the stove. When the water is boiling, add the cauliflower to the steamer. Do not boil the cauliflower directly in the water. Cover the steamer and steam the cauliflower for approximately 10 minutes, until tender. Not al dente, but not mushy. Meanwhile, sauté the garlic until soft and golden brown. Place the cauliflower into a food processor or blender. Mix at medium speed until well broken up, but not pureed. Add all of the other ingredients except the truffles. Continue to blend until fairly smooth. The mix should still have bits of cauliflower, not completely pureed smooth.

Remove the mix and place it in a mixing bowl. Fold in the truffles. Divide the mix between three oven safe serving dishes. Top each dish with grated parmesan cheese. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the mashed cauliflower for approximately 10 to 12 minutes until cheese is golden brown. Serve immediately.

6250 Canoga Ave.
Woodland Hills


mastro lobster

Mastro’s: Lobster Mashed Potatoes

16 oz. garlic mashed potatoes
One each 1 1/4 lbs. live Maine lobster, fully cooked
1 oz. heavy cream
3 oz. whole salted butter, softened
2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
2 tbsp. charred scallions (we recommend taking scallions and putting them on the grill to char them, it really adds to the flavor)
2 tsp. fresh chopped parsley

Start with 16 oz. of garlic mashed potatoes, and keep hot until serving. Remove the shell from the cooked lobster, reserving all the edible meat. Chop up the lobster meat and add it to a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 oz. heavy cream and 3 oz. whole salted butter. Add 2 tsp. of Old Bay seasoning, and bring the lobster to a low simmer, until the butter has melted and the seasoning has been incorporated completely. The mixture should be hot and frothy, creamy and still emulsified. Add 1 tbsp. of the charred scallions.

Place and mound the hot garlic mashed potatoes into a large bowl for serving. Spoon the hot pieces of lobster meat and pour melted butter sauce over the top of the garlic mashed potatoes using all the lobster and all the butter sauce. Garnish with the remaining 1 tbsp. charred scallions, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve immediately.

2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Westlake Village


larsen beef

Larsen’s Steakhouse: Beef Wellilngton

8 inch square of Puff Pastry
12 oz. dry aged Fillet Mignon (wet aged works just fine)
1 cup mushrooms
1 tbsp. thyme
1 tbsp. shallots
6 slices of prosciutto
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 egg yolk

Chop and sauté mushrooms, thyme and shallots until all water is evaporated. Slice prosciutto thin and layer on the puff pastry. Allow the sautéed mushrooms to cool and place on top of the prosciutto. Season and sear off the filet. Allow to cool and then brush the filet with Dijon mustard and place on top of the mushrooms. Wrap the puff pastry around the filet and brush with egg wash. Bake at 350˚F for 30 minutes. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

larsen chef

Larsen’s Steakhouse
6256 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Woodland Hills
Chef Logan Shumar




rosti soup

Rosti: Butternut Squash Soup

2 medium white potatoes (peeled and cubed) soaked in water
2-3 cloves chopped garlic
3 stalks celery
1 zucchini
¼ yellow onion
2 large butternut squash (peeled and cubed, seeds removed)
5 basil leaves
Olive oil
1 tsp. salt
½ tbsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
4-5 quarts water

In a large pot, add olive oil, garlic, sugar, zucchini, celery, and onion. Cook vegetables for 15 minutes on medium-high heat, until caramelized. Drain the potatoes, then add the potatoes, butternut squash, basil, and parsley to the cooked vegetables, salt, and pepper. Cook for approximately 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Next, add water and cook for 15-20 minutes. Let
soup cool, add the grated parmesan, and blend in a blender. You may need to blend it in a couple of different batches. Add salt to taste. Place in container and chill. Store in fridge, and use as needed.

rosti chef

23663 Calabasas Rd.
Chef Luis Garcia




brents bw cookie

Brent’s Deli: Black and White Cookies

2 ¼ cup white cake mix
1 cup + 2 tbsp. pastry flour
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup pastry margarine
5 eggs
½ cup 2% Milk
1 3/4 tbsp. lemon flavoring
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
1 cup chocolate fudge
3 ¾ tbsp. corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Combine cake mix, pastry flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and lemon flavoring and mix until all blended together. Then add pastry margarine until blended, usually no longer than a minute or two. To form cookies, use a pastry bag to get the rounded shape. Bake cookies for 15 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are a light brown. An inserted toothpick
should come out clean.

Frosting the Cookie
Mix corn syrup with the powdered sugar until you have smooth frosting with no lumps. After allowing the cookies to cool, frost one half of the cookie, then allow that side to completely settle. Mix together chocolate fudge with a small amount of hot water and a very small amount of corn syrup to break up the thickness of the fudge. Once you’ve frosted the other half of your cookie, your cookies are ready to enjoy.

brents partner
Brent’s Deli
2799 Townsgate Rd.
Westlake Village
for more locations
Partner Marc Hernandez



zin lamb

Zin Bistro Americana: Holiday Rack of Lamb 

18oz. rack of lamb
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored & cubed
4 thyme sprigs
10 oz. butternut squash, cubed
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ oz. light brown sugar
½ oz. candied pecans
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
Olive Oil
Fresh sage
Fresh rosemary
Salt & pepper

Peel, core, and slice the apple. Marinade the rack of lamb for 15 minutes with garlic, salt, pepper, 2 sprigs thyme, rosemary, and sage. On one side of baking sheet, toss the thyme and butternut squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for ten minutes. Cook the rack of lamb on a medium non-stick pan over medium heat, coated in olive oil. (MR: 8-10 minutes, M: 12-14 minutes, MW: 14 16 minutes, W: 16-18 minutes). Add olive oil and apple cubes to a hot pan. Sprinkle with half the cinnamon, and toss to coat. Cook for about 4 minutes, until the apples soften. Add brown sugar, half the candied pecans, 1/3 cup water, and red pepper to the apple pan. Stir and bring to a simmer for about 2 minutes, until the sauce reduces to a light glaze. Season with salt and add remaining cinnamon. Place the roasted squash on one side of a rectangular plate and spoon the caramel sauce on the other. Garnish with thyme and remaining candied pecans.

zin chef
Zin Bistro Americana
32131 Lindero Canyon Rd., #111
Westlake Village
Chef Luis Narvaez