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29 Jan 2015

Ireland on the menu on Italian TV

Masterchef Italy showcases Irish food to an anticipated 1 million Italians

Images of Cork and Kinsale will be beamed into the homes of an expected audience of about 1 million Italians this evening, when an episode of MasterChef Italia – filmed here last summer – airs on Italian TV channel, Sky Uno.

Tourism Ireland in Milan – in conjunction with Bord Bia and ABP Ireland – secured the famous culinary talent show for Ireland, supported by an excellent itinerary designed by Fáilte Ireland. Ireland was chosen for its exceptional, fresh produce – particularly our beef – as well as our spectacular scenery, which provides such a wonderful backdrop for the show. Already, each episode of this series of MasterChef Italia has attracted an audience of more than 1 million viewers.

The Italian audience is waiting with huge anticipation to find out who will make it through to the next stage of the reality cooking competition. The show is also set to stimulate lots of online conversation about Ireland. Tourism Ireland will maximise that online engagement with potential Italian holidaymakers on its website,, and on social media, including Facebook (the organisation has more than 170,000 Facebook fans in Italy alone) and Twitter (more than 6,000 followers).

Filming MasterChef Italia’s Irish experience took place here last July. Charles Fort in Kinsale will provide the backdrop for the opening scenes of this evening’s episode. Then, moving indoors, viewers will see Cork’s English Market, which is the setting for the contestants to buy the produce they will use to prepare their dishes. The challenge itself takes place in the Kinsale Rugby Club. The aspiring chefs will prepare their dishes, using all Irish produce of the finest quality.

Speaking about the programme which will air this evening, Niamh Kinsella, Tourism Ireland’s manager Italy, said: “We were delighted to co-operate with Bord Bia to bring MasterChef Italy to Ireland. Ireland’s starring role in MasterChef Italia allows us to demonstrate that the island of Ireland offers extremely high quality food, as well as spectacular scenery. Food is such a vital component of the holiday experience nowadays, with travellers becoming more and more discerning about food and where they eat. Gastronomy and the extremely high quality of our food is a key theme being promoted by Tourism Ireland in Italy.

“Popular TV shows like MasterChef Italia are an excellent way for us to highlight Ireland to a huge audience in Italy – encouraging them to come and sample the culinary delights of the destination for themselves. Television and film are recognised as strong influencers for prospective holidaymakers and Tourism Ireland regularly works with TV and production companies around the world, to facilitate the making of lifestyle and travel programmes and films around the island.”

2014 was a strong year for Irish tourism from Italy, with visitor numbers increasing by +10% over 2013. Tourism Ireland in Italy will be pulling out all the stops this year, to keep the momentum going and ensure that success continues.

  The judges of MasterChef Italia (l-r) Bruno Barbieri, Carlo Cracco and Joe Bastianich, during filming at Kinsale Rugby club last July.

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
  • In 2014, we welcomed an estimated 8.6 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.26 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world.