June 14, 2019
Wine & Dine

Three minutes with … Kate Sumner of Kangaroo Island Source

Kate Sumner gets everything she needs from Kangaroo Island: a relaxing lifestyle and plenty of fresh, seasonal produce.

From her farm-based kitchen overlooking the picturesque town of Penneshaw, Kate Sumner has put Kangaroo Island produce on the map. Whether catering for weddings, running cooking classes or sourcing fresh goods from local producers, Kate’s aim is to connect people from around the world with the best from the Kangaroo Island region. Kate grew up in the Adelaide Hills and spent time in London before landing at Penneshaw. In 2004 Kate established the Kangaroo Island Source line of products which are now available online, throughout Kangaroo Island, Adelaide Central Market and Romeo’s supermarkets. 

What do you grow on your 20-hectare property?
We have a really good mixture of fruit trees, nuts and plenty of herbs and then we grow other more seasonal produce to complement our menus.

What do you most enjoy about living on the island?
I grew up on a horse property in the Adelaide Hills so it feels natural to be somewhere like Kangaroo Island.

What does Kangaroo Island do better than anywhere else?
Lifestyle. It’s a very easy, relaxing place to live and raise children.

Fresh from the Source

Since you launched at the local farmers’ market, have you seen more producers springing up?
The island has changed so much over the years and we are seeing more and more producers and winemakers popping up. It’s very exciting.

What are the most valuable lessons taught at your cooking school?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and that most mistakes can be fixed.

What motivates you?
My children. They are still young and I want them to grow up understanding local and seasonal produce.

How many products do you make, and which is the most popular?
Probably too many, but they all have their following! My favourite is the Mexican Jalapeno and Chris Hemsworth was pretty fond of the Fuego Hot Sauce. 

Is being disconnected from the mainland a hindrance or an advantage?
I don’t really feel like it’s either. It’s a life I’ve chosen and I knew exactly what that involved. I get off the rock often enough, so I feel like I have the best of both worlds.


This story first appeared in the April 2019 issue of SALIFE.

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