Grainne Seoige is the first celebrity to step into new series of TV3’s The Restaurant

Grainne Seoige will be running the kitchen when TV3's The Restaurant starts its new season at 9pm tonight (Thursday ).

Seoige, who admits that cooking is not a priority thanks to her busy schedule, will be serving up a three-course meal to a full house at Marco Pierre White Courtyard Bar & Grill in Donnybrook. The critics’ seats this week will feature Tom Doorley, Marco Pierre White, and chef, restaurateur and author Jp Mc Mahon.

“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," said the broadcaster, who divides her time between Connemara and South Africa.

Seoige'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 and tonic oyster, oysters Rockefeller, and a natural oyster. The diners are seriously impressed, but her second starter option lets her down, with diners complaining about grit and stone in the salad.

Her first main course will consist of a traditional South African dish, Babotie with yellow saffron rice. 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. The lobster mash proves an outstanding favourite with the diners — will she win over the critics' table with her choice of main courses?

The dessert 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.

This is the 12th series of The Restaurant. Tune in tonight to see how Grainne Seoige fares.

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