Like Feb. 29 appearing only every four years, so too the Jewish Food Festival appears in a biennial pattern in Bakersfield. And so it returns Sunday to Congregation B'Nai Jacob for a day of food, fellowship and fun.
It's no wonder some time passes between events since two local temples — B'Nai Jacob and Temple Beth El — work to coordinate for the festival, which is expected to draw at least 1,000 people to downtown Bakersfield.
"I'm looking forward to welcoming community members to enjoy all things Jewish," said Laura Lollar Wolfe, one of the event organizers.
The recipe is pretty dialed in for the festival.
There are two options for the lunch, prepared in a kosher kitchen, offering a choice of brisket sandwich with Israeli salad or a bagel with lox, cream cheese, tomato, capers and onion. Both are $18 and come with water to drink. Those who purchase lunch in advance (by calling 322-7607 or leaving a comment on the festival's Facebook page) will receive 10 raffle tickets (more on the raffle below). Lunches bought at the event come with five raffle tickets.
Brisket will be sold by the pound, while supplies last, as will authentic matzo ball soup, frozen in pint jars and ready to go.
Also on the menu are an assortment of sweets from the Jewish bake shop, which will offer chocolate babka, mandebrot, rugelach, challah, bagels, sour cream coffee cake and more.
Enjoy those treats with coffee from Blue Oak Coffee Roasting, which will also sell its scratch-made hamantaschen, a triangle-shaped pastry filled with locally made jams. The shop first made them for Purim, which was celebrated last month.
At least three Israeli kosher wines as well as a beer selection will be available in the beer and wine garden.
Chef Richard Yoshimura of The Kitchen, who fried sweet potato latkes to order at the event in 2017, will return. His menu was not confirmed as of press time.
Other vendors include Flame & Skewers, which will sell chicken kabob and falafel bowls, and Kona Ice shaved ice.
Along with the food, there will be lots to experience from a klezmer band and dancing to synagogue tours and a children's play area, which will include a bounce house and arts and crafts for a small fee.
Non-food vendors will also take part selling Israeli jewelry and paintings, cookbook and tie-dye items.
A raffle will also be held for six prizes including a Judaica basket with Trader's Joe gift card, Cafe Med basket with a gift card and goodies from the restaurant and one filled with a number of gift certificates for local restaurants. Each is valued at $100 or more. Raffle tickets are available for purchase and those who buy a lunch will receive additional chances to win.