Sydney is set to receive another dose of Greekness, with a fresh new Greek festival.
Helping to organise the Greek Food and Wine Festival, Billy Billiris of marketing agency VJB Group is excited to be on board.
The concept follows a recent trip to Greece, where the 21-year-old was exposed to the everyday hardships being faced by many Greeks, and in particular “Greek producers who suffer from the cost of production, and the low income stream of Greeks whom they are reliant on to make money”.
But amongst the devastation, Billiris also stumbled upon a thriving scene of food and wine, rich in culture and flavour.
“The quality of what the Greeks produce is outstanding, it is some of the world’s best,” Billiris observes.
“Visiting the local marketplace in the outskirts of Athens was an amazing experience. The smell of the produce, the amazing cooked goods, and the array of products readily available was incredible.”
With this vision in mind, he returned to Australia inspired to recreate a similar experience Down Under for all Australians to enjoy, with an aim to help promote the many and diverse food products and culinary skills of Greeks both in Greece and abroad.
Since entering the market, the marketing group has been supporting the Greek community, having raised more than $350,000 to date for a number of charities and organisations.
Now they’re throwing themselves behind the festival, where a love of sharing, giving and helping will culminate in one large-scale event.
An opportunity to try an array of Greek wine varieties.
While the event will pay homage to the older generation of Greeks, Billiris says festivalgoers are best to have fusion in mind, posing the question “have you ever had Greek sushi?”.
I know I haven’t, but I’d sure be keen to try!
Applications are currently open for business owners who want to come on board, with organisers personally hand-picking the very best with an encouraging call out for all Hellenes to get involved, no matter in which part of the world they reside.
The festival is expected to take place next autumn in May, and though a location is yet to be announced, the inner-city suburb of Redfern is a current favourite.
While the festival is a celebration of food and wine, Billiris says it all comes down to the generosity of Greece and the philoxenia they are renowned for around the globe, citing the baker on the island of Kos who wakes up at 5.00 am to deliver fresh bread to the refugees along the shore.
“The gods have blessed the Greeks with an assortment of delicious food and decadent wine to satisfy every epicurean,” he says.
“It is simple really; we want to promote the culinary skills of Greeks, friends of Greeks and the produce from Greece. It’s about time we talk about the positives.”
For more information on the Greek Food & Wine Festival, visit www.greekfoodandwinefestival.com