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If you love Greek food, you need to put the 63rd annual Memphis Greek Festival on your to-do list this weekend.

The festival is May 20 and 21 at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, located at 573 N. Highland St.

The festival features a variety of Greek food options, including spanakopita, gyros, souvlakia, moussaka, marinated lamb chops, baklava and more than a dozen Greek pastries. Each dish is handmade with love by a small army of volunteers.

I asked Kathy Zambelis, longtime spokesperson for the festival, to share tips for making one of the most popular dishes - Soulvakia.

For the festival, they order over 1,000 pounds of pork for these marinated pork shish-ka-bobs that are one of the most popular street foods in Greece.

The cut of meat

Kathy says to the best cut of pork is the tenderloin. Do not cut the cubes too small, or the meat will become dry and tough.

The marinade

Marinate the pork overnight in a mixture of cooking sherry, wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and – of course – oregano.

How to cook it

The traditional way to cook the shish-ka-bobs is on a grill over hot charcoal.

How to serve it

Kathy says Soulvakia is best served on a fresh, warm pita smothered with tzatziki, or over a bed of rice pilaf.

The Greek specialties served at Memphis Greek Festival can be enjoyed at the event, or picked up to take home through the event’s drive-thru.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit!

For more information about Memphis Greek Festival, visit memphisgreekfestival.com.

  • Souvlakia (Shish-Ka-Bob)

This recipe is for 4 Servings

  • 1 cup Cooking Sherry (or your favorite wine)
  • 1/2 cup wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup oregano
  • 2- 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1 1/2 pounds of pork tenderloin, cubed (cut fairly large)
  • 1/2 of juice from lemon (or more if you like it), for garnish when serving

Mix the first 7 ingredients and pour over cubed meat. Marinate overnight.

Remove meat from marinade; drain on paper towels (reserve the marinade)

Skewer meat on wooden sticks (TIP - be sure to soak sticks so they do not burn.)

Cook on a grill over a hot charcoal fire (or in the oven on broil), basting occasionally with marinade until desired temperature. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the pork once cooked.

Serve wrapped in pita bread with Tzatziki Sauce, or over rice pilaf.

Recipe used with permission from Kathy Zambelis.

Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks The Southern Pantry Cookbook, Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.