A Food & Travel Blog

Food From Kangaroo Island Source and a Recipe from Kate Sumner

02/08/2013 | By

It’s a bloody long way from London to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island, and the world of hotel management and event marketing in the former is a far cry from everyday life in the latter. However, it’s been a transition that popular cooking school, caterer & gourmet producer Kangaroo Island Source‘s Kate Sumner has made gracefully – and gratefully. I met Kate when I was on the island for the Kangaroo Island Feastival earlier this year and on the day I visited Kangaroo Island Source, Kate was hosting a kitchen-full of visitors who were happily cooking their hearts out with Tim Bourke, head chef from the exclusive Southern Ocean Lodge.
Kangaroo Island Source, Kate Sumner
Kangaroo Island Source, Kate & Tim
On arriving back in Adelaide from London over 10 years ago, Kate periodically visited her mother who had a house on KI (Kangaroo Island). Every now and again, while visiting, she would take on a small local hospitality or catering job to boost her bank account and fill in some spare time. As so often happens in life, one thing led to another and Kate now finds herself married to a sixth generation KI local, mother to a seventh generation and one of the busiest people on the island. Her food business, which she began nine years ago making fresh patés from local trout and chickens, has developed into one of the most local produce driven enterprises on the island.
cooking class, Kangaroo Island source
Kangaroo Island Source condiments
After a stint as chef at Dudley Wines, she went on to develop her own line of spice rubs, condiments and preserves, with production soon outstripping her domestic kitchen capacity. Three years ago Kate took the plunge and built her large commercial kitchen – probably one of the few in the country with such magnificent sea views. From there she conducts cooking classes, runs her catering business and produces a line of gourmet food products using her own home-grown produce.  On her 125 acres Kate grows the tomatoes, beetroot, chillies and fresh herbs used in her products, resorting to other local KI suppliers only when absolutely necessary.
views, Kangaroo Island source
Her cooking classes have proved enormously popular, attracting private groups who take advantage of the many accommodation options nearby and make a weekend of the trip. From October of this year she will be conducting public cooking classes every Friday for those of us who aren’t quite up to organising a group. When she’s not in her gorgeous new kitchen cooking and teaching, Kate is one of the driving forces behind the Kangaroo Island Farmers Market, an active member of Good Food Kangaroo Island and a national ambassador for both her own products and those of many other Kangaroo Island food producers. I’m exhausted just thinking about what this dynamo fits into a day and not at all surprised that Kangaroo Island Source has made it to the Top Twenty in the second round of voting for the 2013 South Australian Food Industry Awards. (You will find the Top Twenty list here.)
Kangaroo Island Source Recipe for oysters
Kangaroo Island Source, oysters
Kate has generously shared with us one of her favourite recipes.  She uses American River oysters for this and, having tried them, I can see why. It’s a simple recipe, but one that delivers a big flavour punch and is a perfect way to show off our gorgeous fresh Kangaroo Island produce.
Kangaroo Island Source, oysters
Print Recipe
2.5 from 2 votes

American River Oysters with Smoked Fish, Garlic Butter & King Prawn

Author: Kate Sumner of Kangaroo Island Source


  • 1 doz shucked oysters
  • 100 gms smoked salmon or other local smoked fish shredded
  • 6 king prawns roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 120 gms butter
  • Salmon roe for garnish


  • Preheat grill to high.
  • Mince garlic and mix with butter.
  • Place all oysters on to an oven tray.
  • Place fish, prawns and a good spoonful of the garlic butter on top of each fresh oyster.
  • Grill under hot grill until sizzling.
  • Remove from heat when done, allow to cool a little before garnishing with a little salmon roe or caviar.

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  1. celia

    Those oysters look to die for, Amanda! And what a million dollar view out the window! Good for Kate, it’s nice to hear of lovely people making a success in food – it can be such a difficult industry to do well in!

  2. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    Wow, what a fantastic view to have while working. I’m green with envy but I suspect she probably works too hard to sit and enjoy the view. Wonderful story!

  3. Vija

    Kangaroo Island is definitely a place to visit for amazing produce. Best wishes to Kate for ongoing success.

  4. Hotly Spiced

    Those oysters look enormous. I haven’t been to KI yet but I must get there – it looks so beautiful. Congrats to Kate on all her success xx

  5. Eha

    Well, when I was very young and just learning to be a ‘foodie’, we had ’em au naturel and mornay and kilpatrick and casino, and if one really knew one’s stuff, it was ‘bercy’ 🙂 ! Look at the delightful choices now – really must try both this and a long yearned for trip to KI 🙂 ! The view: but of course 😀 !!!!

  6. InTolerant Chef

    What yummy oysters indeed! What a gorgeous place to work, and those views are amazing!

  7. katesumnerkangarooisland

    I have just read all these comments about the blog the Amanda did on Kangaroo Island Source and wanted to say thank you for all your kind words! It’s been a labour of love but wouldn’t live or work anywhere else in the world!! Thanks again Amanda!!

  8. Frank Mosher

    1 star
    Wow! I can’t even imagine putting smoked salmon on an oyster, no matter how poor the oyster? Any oyster, has a very, very delicate taste, and while “Oyster Rockefeller” are a classic, with spinach, cheese and Pernod, one can still enjoy the oyster taste, – BUT, smoked salmon or any smoked fish on top of an oyster, totally does not make sense. Suggestion: Your guests don’t like oysters, don’t serve them or in this case, waste them. Make up a smoked salmon appetizer without oysters. Hate to be negative again, but this recipe is absurd.

  9. Amanda

    You are entitled to your opinion, Frank. The dish was delicious.

  10. amy

    4 stars
    Frank, you should probably try the recipe before saying that it tastes bad. Judging something as if it is definitely bad without even trying it is absurd. The recipe actually sounds amazing.

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