The bearded bakers behind Knafeh Bakery will put down their rolling pins to cheer on big brother, Bobby El-Issa in the saddle at Randwick racecourse.
The bakers who serve the Jerusalem street sweet Knafeh from the walls of a shipping container embellished with street art, will set up shop at Randwick on Saturday as part of the Sydney spring carnival.
Part owner and head baker Ameer El-Issa, 33, says it will be an emotional day for his family as “both worlds collide”.
“Bobby went through of a bit of a rough patch last year,” El-Issa told AAP.
“It is the first time ever that our careers have merged and to have the bearded bakers on tour and to have Bobby racing on the same day – we are just really overwhelmed by it and really excited.”
The senior jockey returned to the saddle in April after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in June 2015.
“To have Bobby’s full health back – we are winners already whether he wins this Saturday or not,” El-Issa said.
Bobby El-Issa is set to ride Torio’s Delight in the 1200 metre Highway Handicap and Ninth Legion trained by Peter Robl in the City Tattersalls Lightning (1100m) on Saturday.
“All the bakers, we are going to stop whatever we are doing and we are going to be cheering him on. He has a whole crew of bearded bakers supporting him,” his brother said.
The pop-up bakery which has been touring Sydney for two years, was built to keep up with the popular demand for Knafeh which was first sold at El-Issa’s family cafe in Croydon Park.
Made from his mother’s recipe, the cheese pastry soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup and topped with pistachio draws in queues of crowds on any given night and will be available to thousands of racegoers this weekend.
“Everywhere we go, it is really the experience that we sell. The Knafeh is really one element of the whole product,” El-Issa said.
Known just as much for their beards as for their singing and dancing, the bakers will also trawl the crowd in search of stylish gents prepared to parade in front of the Knafeh Bakery.
The best dressed contestants will flaunt their wear in front of expert judges from GQ in a bid to win a styling session from the mens magazine worth $7,000 and a $1,000 Myer gift card.