Volunteer Nikos Karametsos holds up the slow roasted lamb at Greek Fest in Saanich. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Volunteer Nikos Karametsos holds up the slow roasted lamb at Greek Fest in Saanich. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Roast lamb, honey puffs draw rave reviews at Greek Fest

Greek Fest 2018 underway in Royal Oak

The scents of slow-roasted lamb wafted across Royal Oak Friday as Greek Fest got underway.

Among the first to eat the tender delight was popular Vancouver food blogger Trevor James, whose Food Ranger YouTube channel is closing in on two million subscribers, and whose videos get millions of views.

“The lamb is excellent, it’s the best choice,” he smiled.

James wasn’t filming, mind you, Friday was about lunch with mom and dad, who live in Brentwood Bay.

Greek Fest starts at 11 a.m. each day – Saturday and Sunday, and again over Labour Day weekend, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday – until 10 p.m. each night. There is music, dancing, the popular lamb and food items, as well as fresh beer on tap from Hoyne Brewery.

Some people come for the lamb, some for the dancing, and go straight for the fresh-out-of-the-fryer loukoumades (honey puff) Greek style mini doughnuts.

“Very popular,” said organizer Jim Koutougos. “The lamb is a big hit, but the loukoumades are well-liked.”

Sitting a few tables from James was David Bray and his wife, who enjoyed a Hoyne with the souvlaki plate.

“We come every year, have been for several years now, to get lunch,” Bray said.

At the next table, sitting around a pile of well-picked lamb bones on empty plates, was Tom Malenica and a band of software programmers on lunch from the Vancouver Island Tech Park.

“We actually thought this was Geek Fest,” Malenica joked. “It was very good.”

Nikos Kamaretsos has been volunteering with Greek Fest for 20 years. He loads the lamb into the slow cooker at 6 a.m.

“We’ll roast about eight [batches] today, each day,” Kamaretsos said.

The lamb meat for Greek Fest is specially butchered into big chunks over an inch thick, not what you’d find in the grocery store.

Roast lamb is a common method to cooking the popular meat but in Canada we only get a snippet of what other cultures do. For example, traditionally, people used the whole animal, which might come as a shock to others.

“I was in Athens last month, I saw a lamb cook where there was multiple lamb heads on the spit, slow cooking them,” said James, who’ll be eating lamb again this week when he lands in Marrakesh.

Visit Greekfest.ca for more information.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Volunteer Nikos Karametsos loads the roaster with lamb at Greek Fest in Saanich. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Volunteer Nikos Karametsos loads the roaster with lamb at Greek Fest in Saanich. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Just Posted

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read