Donegal chef, Gary O’Hanlon, shows his massive support for broadcaster Grainne Seoige, when she becomes the first celebrity to step into TV3’s The Restaurant’ on Thursday night at 9pm.
Cooking has always been secondary to the Galway girl and TV host who splits her time between South Africa and Connemara.
“Reading the news at 10pm/11pm at night meant cooking was just fuel for the body and it was often a case of piercing a ready made meal with a fork and put in to the microwave for 2.5 minutes and PING dinner,” she has said.
Grainne will be serving up a three course meal to a full house at Marco Pierre White Courtyard Bar & Grill, Donnybrook. The critics’ seats this week will be filled with Tom Doorley, Marco Pierre White and chef, restaurateur and author, JP Mc Mahon.
Grainne’s identity will remain a secret to the diners and the critics until service is over, at which point she will step out of the kitchen and face the critics in front of the diners to find out her star rating (from one to five).
Hailing from the West meant the family grew up dining on seafood almost daily, which influences and shapes her first choice of starter; Oysters three ways – Gin & Tonic Oyster, Oysters Rockefeller and a Natural Oyster. The diners are seriously impressed, “Seeeeeriously good, I would like to find fault in that but I can’t,” said long-time friends Aisling and Jacinta.
The second starter option seriously lets Grainne down, with diners complaining about grit and stone in the salad and catching between their teeth, some think the salad leaves haven’t been properly washed. “Do you ever get a salad and it’s very stoney, all I’m getting is crunch on my teeth, it’s like I’m chewing on broken ceramic” said avid snap chatter, James Kavanagh. What will the table of critics have to say about the sandy unpleasant texture?
Grainne’s first main course will consist of a traditional South African dish; Babotie with yellow saffron rice which certainly has the diners confused: “It’s like a fruity curry”… “Is it kinda like a bad lasagne?” Her second main course is Monkfish medallions with wilted spinach and lobster mash, however she is devastated when Marco Pierre White reveals Monkfish is his least favourite dish. Nonetheless the lobster mash proves an outstanding favourite with the diners. Will she win over the critics table with her choice of main courses?
The diners speculate that Grainne is a male celebrity from the West/South Africa, as they sip on paired wines by Gavin and Gareth from Wines Direct.
The desert proves an eye opener with a choice of chocolate, orange and edible diamonds as the first option and a rhubarb and custard trifle as the second. Will Grainne manage to sweeten up the critics and diners with her desert options?
The programme is produced by Vision Independent Productions and voiced by well-known presenter Sean Moncrieff.
This is the twelfth series of The Restaurant and is proudly sponsored by Gas Networks Ireland.
Which of the celebrities will rise like cream to the top of the critics’ scorecards? Tune in to Grainne’s effort on The Restaurant on Thursday night at 9pm on TV3.