This weekend, Oakland’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension hosted their annual Oakland Greek Festival. A celebration of all things Greek, the festival is a haven for Mediterranean food lovers – especially if you’re a fan of the lamby-lamb: think lamb kabobs, lamb chops, 3-pound open-faced lamb sandwiches, and a whole lamb on a spit. Clearly, if you’re at all squeamish about meat, this isn’t the place for you (sorry, vegan contingent!).
Besides the lamby-bits, there were also a wide variety of non-meaty treat. Grilled haloumi squares, honey-dipped pastry dumplings, some of the best spanakopita, and a flaming cheese dish called saganaki (seriously — stand back when they set it on fire). For those who love to cook, Saturday and Sunday were filled with countless Greek cooking demonstrations.
Friday I hit up the festival’s opening day, with my much-missed Canon 7D w/ 24-70mm 2.8 in tow (I couldn’t bring it with me to Europe because of space constraints). It was a perfect spring day of food and sunshine. Seriously, I love my life.
Breading the calamari by hand.
Fresh calamari and French fries
Fresh baklava, ready for a new home.
Flaming saganaki — this you really have to try.
When you are engulfed in flames…
A meal worthy of the gods.
John Constantine, calamari Superman
What kind of Greek festival would it be without the requisite feta and olives?
Loukoumades, or honey-dipped pastry puffs. There are not words.
Lamb goddess Karen Kolokithas
Assorted Greek goodies for sale.
The tastiest of all Greek dishes: spanakopita.
Alyssa Landis dishes out some of the most incredible lamb I’ve ever tasted.
More luscious lamby bits…
Harry Greer unwrapping his lamb on a spit.
The [rather large] lamb, in all its glory.
Happy Greek chefs!
Anna Wade grills meat for gyros.
Brittany Wade shows off her winning gyro-making skills.