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The Restaurant RTÉ One, Sunday, 8.30pm

Ciara O'Callaghan 4 stars

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This week's guest critic...

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Actress Ciara O’Callaghan is best known to Irish audiences for the character of Yvonne Doyle whom she plays in RTE’s top soap Fair City.

Ciara’s alter ego Yvonne co-owns ‘The Bistro’ in the fictional Carrigstown and indeed Ciara herself is an accomplished amateur cook and a keen wine buff thanks to the influence of her mother who is a sommelier and passionate cook herself.

‘Guess you do take it for granted when you grow up with good food all the time, that that’s just the norm’

Taking on the restaurant challege seemed easy at the time, but when Ciara woke up at the Wineport Lodge in Athlone on the morning of her restaurant challege, the reality of the situation hit home..

‘I think its just hit me now, I’m about to go into the kitchen and have all that ahead of me now, Oh Go,d its worse than going on stage the first night ... It’s the same adrenaline rush, that’s what it is’

For one of her starters, Ciara decided to serve a Beef Consomme with a Foie Gras Profiterole

‘I like having a soup, but sometimes I feel soup can be very heavy. Consomme is nice and light so you can leave the palate open to taste the dishes to come .... its full of flavour and its full of goodness’     

Ciara also plumped for a fish main course as she is a big fan

‘I love turbot, its one of my favourite fish, The secret is to keep it simple isnt it? Its all about the flavour of the fish really. The turbot is such a beautiful fish

For a theatrical flourish, Ciara served her chilled lemon souflée and melba sorbet .... with dry ice, this one is a bit of a clue to her thespian background

‘As long as I can remember on stage they always use dry ice for special effects’

Another thing actress Ciara is used to, are critics appraising her performance, but she plans to focus on the job in hand and not let it affect her work, her real fear is keeping diners waiting for their food..

‘Certainly when I’m about to go on, I dont think about the critics, I cant ... I just want to get the food out there in time, I don’t want to keep the diners waiting.
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