Marion wants to dish up money for charity

Darren Cartwright, National Entertainment Writer

Happy-go-lucky cook Marion Grasby returns to the kitchen in MasterChef All-Stars attempting to make a dish that will smother her favourite charity in money.

Grasby is one of a dozen former MasterChef contestants invited back for the Network Ten special edition of the reality cooking show, which will go head-to-head with the Olympic Games coverage on the Nine Network.

MasterChef All-Stars, which starts a day before the Games, has three teams of the former budding cooks, corresponding to the season they appeared on the show.

Grasby, who finished ninth in season two in 2010, is teamed with Callum Hann (2nd), Aaron Harvie (7th) and Jonathan Daddia (8th).

First season winner (2009), Julie Goodwin joins forces with Poh Ling Yeow (2nd), Chris Badenoch (3rd) and Justine Schofield (4th), which is the only top-four combination of the three teams.

Last year's team consists of winner Kate Bracks, Dani Venn (4th), Hayden Quinn (6th) and Kumar Pereira (11th).

Adam Liaw, who won series two, was unavailable because commitments to his new show Destination Flavour, which airs on SBS next month.

MasterChef All-Stars pits the three teams against each other in a series of challenges.

The winning team of each challenge then moves into an individual battle to win cash for their chosen charity.

There is also an overall winning-team prize.

Grasby said the lure of raising money for charity was enough to draw her back into the show.

The former radio journalist and owner of the Marion's Kitchen meals will again align with Save the Children (Australia), as she did on Nine's Celebrity Apprentice earlier this year, when she raised more than $70,000.

"I was tossing up about doing Celebrity Apprentice as I do not see myself as a celebrity," Grasby tells AAP.

"I'm a cook and I have business and run my food range.

"It was the charity thing that tipped me over the edge and I was very surprised how moved I was being able to donate money."

Grasby admits she is proof that you don't have to win to be a success. Her line of Marion Kitchen Asian ingredient kits are in 3000 Australia stores and available in South Africa.

"I think it's great that someone who comes ninth, not even a podium position in a competition, can be happy and successful," Grasby says.

"Every time I do demos I say that, because often there is an emphasis on winning, but you don't have to win to be successful and you don't have to win to get what you want."

* MasterChef All-Stars premieres on Network Ten on July 26 and screens Mon-Thurs at 7pm.