Paniyri Greek Festival may still be three weeks away, but the heat has already been turned up on the spit roast.

Running over the weekend of May 21-22, the Paniyiri Greek Festival’s 40th anniversary will be celebrated with a special anniversary cookbook featuring ‘secret’ recipes for honeypuffs, haloumi and 30 other signature and Greek-inspired dishes.

The 40th Anniversary Paniyiri Cookbook has been curated with help from the Greek Orthodox Southside Parish Ladies Auxiliary, Greek YiaYias (grandmothers) from the community, the Paniyiri Committee, leading Greek authors, and from some of Brisbane’s leading chefs and restaurants, including Matt Wood from Stokehouse Q, Alastair McLeod from Al’FreshCo, Jocelyn Hancock from Cake & Bake, Chris Mann from Pony Dining, the crews from PawPaw Café, Zeus Street Greek, Chez Nous Catering, The Coffee Club and The Greek Club and more.

While there is a limited edition of 1000 copies being printed for giveaways during the Cooking Demonstration at Paniyiri, the cookbook is also available now as a free download from paniyiri.com.

Over the past 40 years Queensland has recognised the Paniyiri festival not only as the states largest cultural festival but the signature celebration for all things Greek.

Over 60,000 people are expected to attend the festival this year, a great success story when you consider it started as the brainchild of a small group of Greek Australians who wanted to share their cultural traditions with Brisbane way back in 1976.

Festival goers are expected to devourer more then 300,000 Honey Puffs, more than 100,000 Souvlaki, almost 12,000 Dolmades, 20,000 coffees, 1,600 kilograms of grilled Haloumi, 10,000 Shiftalies (Greek Cypriot sausage) 1,000 kilograms of calamari and another 1,000 kilograms of baby octopus!

More than 30 food stalls will celebrate all the regions and flavours of Greece, while on stage, the Honeypuff Eating, Grape Stomping, Olive Eating and Pasta Eating competitions will draw big crowds.

The Paniyiri Cooking Program, held upstairs at The Greek Club over the festival weekend, will feature some of the Greek community’s most famous and loved cooks, including secret recipes from much loved Greek YiaYias (grandmothers) as well as Jocelyn Hancock, Effie (!), Lisa Peterson and Desi Carlos (aka Two Greek Girls), Alice Vazanellis, Sira Aristidou and Chrystalla Tzaneros, Marina Campbell and the Asia Minor Greek Historical Society Incorporated, and Paras Vasiliou and the Cypriot Youth of Brisbane.

Running from 12 noon Saturday 21 May and 10am Sunday 22 May, you can enjoy all the flavors and heritage experiences of Greece from $10 for adults and $3 for pensioners, while children are free.

The Paniyiri Festival will be held at Musgrave Park and the Greek Club, Edmondstone St, South Brisbane.