Brisbane is about to eat Greek as the city’s much loved and famed Paniyiri Greek Festival readies to celebrate 40 flavour-filled years over the weekend of May 21 and 22.
And while Paniyiri Greek Festival may be still three long hungry weeks away, the heat has been well and truly turned up on the spit roast, with Brisbane restaurants paying tribute to the milestone event with Greek-inspired dishes and a special anniversary cookbook released for free download featuring some 32 recipes.
Over four decades Paniyiri has grown to become Queensland’s signature celebration of all things Greek and the state’s largest cultural festival as well as the country’s longest running Greek festival – an admirable success story for the celebration that started in 1976 when a group of passionate Greek Australians wanted to share their cultural traditions with Brisbane. Fast forward to 2016 and this kaleidoscopic cultural explosion is now legendary with more than 60,000 expected to celebrate over the weekend of May 21 and 22.
The 40th Anniversary Paniyiri Cookbook
Starring secret recipes for honeypuffs, haloumi and 30 other signature and Greek inspired dishes, the 40th Anniversary Paniyiri Cookbook has been lovingly curated with help from The Greek Orthodox Southside Parish Ladies Auxiliary, Greek YiaYias (grandmothers) from the Community, the Paniyiri Committee, leading Greek authors and from some of Brisbane’s leading chefs and restaurants in Matt Wood from Stokehouse Q,Alastair McLeod from Al’FreshCo, Brisbane’s first lady of cakes in Jocelyn Hancock from Cake & Bake, Chris Mann from Pony Dining at Eagle Street Pier, the crew from PawPaw Café, Zeus Street Greek, Chez Nous Catering, The Coffee Club and The Greek Club and more. While there is a limited edition of 1000 copies being printed for giveaways during the Cooking Demonstration at Paniyiri, the cookbook is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD from www.panyiri.com
· Stokehouse Q – Stuffed Roast Chicken Breast with rocket, cucumber and pickled chilies
· Alastair McLeod – Al’FreshCo – Oregano crumbed Hervey Bay scallops, cauliflower, almonds and peas
· Jocelyn Hancock – Cake & Bake – Halva and Espresso Cheesecake
· PawPaw Café – Greek Panna Cotta
· Pony, Eagle Street Pier, Brisbane City – Coal Roasted Lamb Rump almond skordalia, freekeh, spiced eggplant, spinach
· Zeus Street Greek – Saganaki Salad
· The Coffee Club – Lemon Chicken Yiros with Tzatziki
· The Greek Club – Arni Me Aginares St Pilino (Oven baked lamb and artichokes)
· Chez Nous Corporate – Yiayia Betty’s Greek Almond Crescents
· Lisa Peterson and Desi Carlos, authors of Mediterranean Eating – Ktapothi Me Salsa Octopus with sauce
· Alice Vazanellis, author of Breaking Bread – Bouyatsa
Paniyiri Cooking Program
The famous Paniyiri Cooking Program held upstairs at The Greek Club over the festival weekend features some of the Greek community’s most famous and loved cooks, including secret recipes from much loved Greek YiaYias (grandmothers). Joining the lineup this year include:
· Jocelyn Hancock – Brisbane’s first lady of cakes and the Eat Local movement, founder of the iconic Jocelyn’s Provisions in James Street and now Cake & Bake at West End.
· EFFIE – Australia’s Greek Princess, Effie will take part over both days of the Cooking Program.
· Lisa Peterson and Desi Carlos (Two Greek Girls) – authors of Mediterranean Eating: Cook | Eat | Live – together these two dieticians and passionate Greeks have over 30 years’ experience in flavour creations. http://twogreekgirls.com/.
· Alice Vazanellis – author of Breaking Bread – a Greek Australian born in Wollongong and raised in Darwin and now a Brisbane local, Alice’s first cookbook Breaking Bread features over 100 Greek family recipes with a modern twist, handed down over generations. http://www.breakingbreadcookbook.com.au/.
· Sia Aristidou and Chrystalla Tzaneros – authors of Mezze – two young local Greek mums and foodies, Aristidou and Tzaneros have converted over 40 signature Greek recipes for modern thermal cooking machines are now launching their first cookbook titled Mezze. http://fayi.com.au/product/mezze/.
· Marina Campbell and the Asia Minor Greek Historical Society Incorporated – As well as launching their third edition of Fine Food Fare: A Collection of Recipes from the Asia Minor, Marina and the ladies from the Asia Minor Greek Historical Society Incorporated will showcase recipes from the Asia Minor region, common to many households the Hellenes grew up in.
· Paras Vasiliou and the Cypriot Youth of Brisbane – Exploring the notion that the kitchen is the centre of attention in Greek households, the Cypriot Youth of Brisbane embark on a culinary journey as they reveal the many secret techniques and ingredients which warm hearts and fill bellies, alongside their showcase of Our Cypriot Kitchen, which features 50 traditional Cypriot recipes.
Flavours on the Paniyiri Park
In the 40 years of Paniyiri, almost two million festival goers have devoured over five million honey puffs, rivers of thick sweet coffees, over four million souvlaki, 25 tonnes of haloumi and countless calamari and dolmades. THIS YEAR, festival goers are expected to down some 300,000 Honey Puffs, more than 100,000 Souvlaki, almost 12,000 Dolmades, 20,000 coffees, 1,600 kilograms of grilled Haloumi, 10,000 Shiftalies (Greek Cypriot sausage) 1,000 kilograms of calamari and another 1,000 kilograms of baby octopus! ON THE PARK, more than 30 food stalls celebrate all the regions and flavours of Greece, while on the stages, there’s the Honeypuff Eating Competition, Grape Stomping, Olive Eating and Pasta Eating.
Paniyiri 2016 Fast Facts
Date: Saturday May 21 from 12noon AND Sunday May 22 from 10am
Location: Musgrave Park & The Greek Club, Edmondstone St, South Brisbane
Info: www.paniyiri.com or 07 3844 1166
Tickets: $10 Adults (13+), $3 all Pensioners, Children FREE
Tickets available online at www.paniyiri.com
See Paniyiri on Facebook for all up to date information.