Yesterday Emirates put the spotlight on its catering capabilities as it announced its newest sponsorship in Ireland. Emirates has been unveiled as the sole sponsor of RTÉ’s MasterChef Ireland, ahead of the much-anticipated return of the award-winning culinary programme to TV screens on RTÉ Two in October.
Once again, successful MasterChef applicants will attempt to impress Michelin-starred chef Dylan McGrath and top restaurateur Nick Munier, while being put through a series of intense and highly pressurised tasks and challenges, which will test their culinary skills to the limit.
Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline said: “Our sponsorship of MasterChef is a great way to directly involve our brand with a spirited, culinary competition of an extraordinary calibre.
“At Emirates we offer all of our customers a unique experience on board and our award-winning cuisine is an integral part of this overall experience, whether in the air or on the ground in our Business Lounges. Our catering team prepares and serves 115,000 fresh meals every day, ensuring that we provide a choice of menus to cater for all of our international customers and their different tastes and requirements. We like to think that we know a thing or two about fine food, so this is a really strong partnership for Emirates.”
Glen Killane, Managing Director of Television at RTÉ, added: “I’m delighted that Emirates has come on board as the title sponsor to the hugely successful MasterChef Ireland. The Emirates brand is synonymous with superlative standards, as is MasterChef Ireland, so we are really pleased to have been able to bring together two such high-end brands in this partnership.”
In addition to adverts throughout all programmes, pre-rolls, mid-rolls and website banners, the sponsorship deal will include an Emirates-dedicated task, challenging contestants to prepare and cook a First Class meal with produce that will work at altitude. This is a first for the programme and an intriguing task for the participants.
The Emirates judges will be Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline, and Robin Padgett, Vice President, Aircraft Catering. Tim Clark appears in an episode entitled ‘The Chefs Table’ where he will join seven, highly acclaimed Michelin-starred Irish chefs in judging a group of four finalists in highly pressurised conditions. Tim Clark was in Dublin this weekend to film the episode.
The Emirates Airline catering facility in Dubai is the largest of its kind in the world in terms of volume throughput, supplying almost 38 million meals per annum for Emirates flights and an additional eight million for other airlines. Every year, Emirates’ catering facility uses three million fresh eggs, 26 tonnes of lobster and 1,250 tonnes of chicken products, and bakes over 58 million bread rolls.
A real ratings success story for RTÉ Two, MasterChef Ireland was gobbled up by Irish viewers when it first aired last autumn, attracting an average of over a quarter of a million viewers per episode. It also received four Irish Film & TV Awards (IFTA) nominations, including Best Director for Lynda McQuaid and Best Entertainment Programme for Larry Bass of ShinAwil, the production company behind the programme. This year, the new series will run from October to December on RTÉ Two.
This is Emirates’ second sponsorship in Ireland. Emirates is official airline to The Irish Open, which this year took place at Royal Portrush Golf Club.