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Paniyiri Greek Festival 2015

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by Kiesten McCauley (subscribe)
My early career was in teaching, writing, producing and directing for theatre, comedy and impro shows. Now I'm a professional creative person. Mostly high-end branding, strategy, writing, editing and digital content creation.
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Dolmades are a Girl's Best Friend
greek, god, goddess, paniyiri, festival, launch, brisbane
A Taste of Paniyiri was hosted by a legit Greek God and Goddess, straight from Mount Olympus.


Warning: if you're thinking of going to Paniyiri on the 23rd and 24th of May, wear loose fitting clothing. A good friend and I were lucky guests at A Taste of Paniyiri at the Greek Club, opposite Paniyiri's annual home, Musgrave Park South Brisbane. The event was held on the evening of Monday 11th of May as an official launch and sneak preview of some of the wonderful delights in store this year.

galaktoboureko , baklava, food, greek, paniyiri, brisbane
Galaktoboureko and Baklava


If our happy tummies and smiling faces were anything to go by as we rolled our baklava stuffed torsos down the street this evening, lovers of Greek food, fun and festivities are in for a honey soaked treat this year.

Say what you will for the Greeks' amazing contributions to the arts and culture; inventions, philosophy, discoveries in medicine and science, Greek food is the best. Seriously. Have you ever tried a honey puff? As the hosts of the evening said, they're, "golden balls of happiness".

loukoumades , honey, puffs, greek, food, dessert, paniyiri, brisbane
Loukoumades... golden balls of happiness


That made my friend and I giggle; mostly because we're smutty and juvenile, but also because we'd had a few of the refreshingly dangerous Ouzo mojitos. They're a little too easy to drink, so make sure you get public transport to Paniyiri if you're thinking of trying those.

ouzo, mojito, drink, cocktail, greek, paniyiri
Ouzo mojitos are dangerously easy to imbibe


The evening's entertainment included a performance from the Hellenic Dancers, who also taught the crowd some traditional Greek moves (I'll have that Zorba the Greek tune stuck in my head all night now). While we didn't smash any plates, we did shout, "Oupa" and clap until our hands hurt. That's when we discovered if we numbed our hands with the ice from the Ouzo mojitos we could clap for longer.

hellenic, dancers, greek, paniyiri, launch, brisbane
Hellenic Dancers in a spin


Some of the food we got to taste test included dolmades, kataifi (shredded nut pastries), spanakopitta (spinach pastry), horiatika keftedakia (meat balls), galaktoboureko (semolina custard between pastry), chicken skewers, loukoumades (honey puffs mmmmm droooool) and Greek coffee.

greek, food, paniyiri, lanuch, brisbane, festival
Savoury Greek food brought all our tastebuds to the yard


If you're keen to try your hand at making your own delicious Greek food including many of the dishes listed above, you must go along to the free cooking demonstrations on level one of the Greek Club during Paniyiri. The demonstrations are designed for lovers of food and cooking enthusiasts alike. They'll feature competitions, cooking demonstrations from renowned chefs, plus a few celebrity chefs along the way such as INXS' Kirk Pengilly and Layne Beachley, and a few familiar faces from Channel 7 too.

The Beko Greek Coffee Making Competition is also going to attract a few well known faces to level one of the Greek Club during Paniyiri, with 2015 My Kitchen Rules contestants Annie and Lloyd, plus Bonnie and George from Home and Away tipped to be popping in to the hotly contested coffee-off.

Paniyiri always delivers the fun and this year will be no different. Organisers promise, "Festival goers will have the opportunity to take part in a world record Zorba attempts, grape stomping, Olive and Honeypuff Eating Competitions, Hellenic Dancing and Zorba Till You Drop".

honey, puffs, loukoumades , greek, paniyiri, food, brisbane
Anyone for a honey puff eating contest?


My advice? If I'm this full after just a taste of Paniyiri, imagine how full you will be after a couple of fun filled days of it. Pack the pants with the elastic waist and save plenty of room for honey puffs and baklava.

PS I ate too many honey puffs tonight and cannot move. Please send help.

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Why? OUPA!!! Also...honey puffs
When: 23-24 May, 2015 in Brisbane | From 12noon on Saturday and 10am on Sunday
Phone: Please enquire via the website
Website: paniyiri.com
Where: The Greek Club and Musgrave Park in South Brisbane
Cost: $10 Adults (13 ), $3 Pensioners, Children free
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