I wasn't sure what to expect from Nina's show and tell night, but it turned out to be a great way to learn more about each of the ladies. Although it's not depicted much in the episode, I talked about my grandmother who lives in the Czech Republic (she is an amazing cook and baker) and how when I was younger she would come to NY and live with my family for a few months, and we would bake all day long together. Mostly it was Czech baked goods (like these vanilla hazelnut crescents!), but I also would use my first cookbook (shown in the episode) and make pretzels, linzer cookies, things like that.
That Bouchon dinner I attended with Brenda and Lindsay was pretty spectacular. Bouchon in Beverly Hills is a fantastic restaurant unto itself (drop by the bakery to try the Kouign Amann -- sort of like a caramelized croissant -- it hails from the Brittany region in France and is a harder to find pastry in Los Angeles) and this particular dinner featured dishes by former Bouchon chef de cuisine Rory Herrmann, Michael Voltaggio (ink.), Josiah Citrin (Melisse), Gino Angelini (Osteria Angelini), Richard Rosendale (The Greenbrier), and Michael Cimarusti (Providence), plus dessert by Bouchon pastry chef Alen Ramos.
5x5 is a series of five dinners at five of the best L.A. restaurants cooked by five chefs and a portion of the proceeds is donated to the Special Olympics.