Mike Sleem and John Simon helped prepare dough for rolls and other items.
Both men said they learned their baking skills from their mothers, who were part of the group of church women who started the festival. Sleem said the women saw the event as a way to share their ethnic foods with others.
“They say if you want to get to know someone, share a meal with them,” Sleem said.
The men said they didn't hesitate when encouraged to get involved. They approached the baking with the appropriate amount of awe.
“The kitchen was a sacred area. You had to be invited,” Simon said.
In addition to cabbage rolls, thalami, Sfeeha and Yahknee, items to be sold at the festival include tabbouleh, kibba, Kafta sandwiches, baklava, hummus and pita chips and assorted baked goods.