Internationally acclaimed celebrity chef Maria Loi helped launch Ottawa Greekfest last night.

Loi, who has her own cooking show in Greece, is just one of the highlights of the festival, which officially starts today at the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church.

More than 70,000 people are expected to attend the festival, which runs through Aug. 22 and features authentic food made by members of Ottawa’s Hellenic community — roast lamb on a spit, souvlaki and desserts like baklava and loukoumades — performances by Greek bands and dancers and the Zorba show.