Foodies with a penchant for Greek cooking have already marked this weekend on their calendar. Because the 31st Lonsdale Street Greek festival signals the return of the Procal Greek Kitchen.

The favourite event has risen to a ‘festival-within-a-festival’ status, attracting everyone interested in Greek culinary traditions and the modern take on age-old recipes. Hosted by Vikki Mourselas (of My Kitchen Rules fame), this year’s two-day program will not disappoint, once again boasting some of the most celebrated Greek chefs and cooks: festival regulars Kathy Tsaples (Sweet Greek), Phil Vakos (Bahari, The Gringlish Co), Angela Nicolettou (Angela’s Kitchen), Mary Valle (Mary’s Kitchen) and Spiri Tzintziras (author of Afternoons in Ithaka), while new faces include Ella Mittas from ‘Ela at the Gertrude Street Enoteca’ and award-winning mixologist Jack Sotti (manager of whiskey haven Boilermaker House), will present an array of Greek-inspired cocktails.

Add to that the abundance of food stalls that have made the festival a point of attraction for Greeks and non-Greek foodies alike, and it is certain that visitors will need something to help them digest – and what is best than a cup of thick, delicious, aromatic Greek coffee?

If you are not confident about your brewing skills, the people from Oasis Coffee will be there for a quick and easy seminar, ‘Greek Coffee 101’. As for dessert, how does a baklava contest sound?

On Saturday 10 February at 5.15 pm, the Procal Greek Kitchen will serve as battleground for both amateurs and professional cooks competing for Melbourne’s best baklava. Yes, it is supposed to be made for the panel of judges, but there’s reason to believe that contestants would bring enough to offer to the audience. After all, they will need to have as much support as possible.

The full two-day Procal Greek Kitchen program is as follows:

12.00 noon Mary Valle (Mary’s Kitchen)
1.15 pm Spiri Tzintziras (Afternoons in Ithaka)
2.30 pm Jack Sotti (Boilermaker House)
3:15pm Vikki Moursellas (MKR)
4:30pm Greek Coffee 101 (Oasis Coffee)
5:15pm My Baklava is Better Than Yours

12.00 noon Ella Mittas (Gertrude Street Enoteca)
1.15 pm Kathy Tsaples (Sweet Greek)
2.30 pm Phil Vakos (Bahari, The Gringlish Co.)
4.30 pm Angela Nicolettou (Angela’s Kitchen)