In search of Kangaroo Island’s finest eats, I found myself at Kangaroo Island Source in Penneshaw, a township on the northeast coast of the Dudley Peninsula. As one of KI’s most produce-driven enterprises, owner/chef Kate Sumner’s vision is to showcase the Kangaroo Island region in the most clearest, cleanest, most natural expression.

 Kangaroo Island Source - sign

Her 125 acre property incorporates an expansive vegetable and herb garden, olive trees, figs, berries and is home to many hereford cows, suffolk lambs and free range chickens. With this home-grown approach, Kate’s range of spice pastes, rubs and relishes are all produced onsite and marketed under the Kangaroo Island Source brand. From there, Kate also runs a cooking school which focuses entirely on sourcing the best regional produce.

Kangaroo Island Source - view

Kangaroo Island Source - kitchen

Kangaroo Island Source -  products on shelf

Kangaroo Island Source - dining table

However, one of the best ways to ultimately enjoy Kangaroo Island, would be to book in Kangaroo Island Source’s gourmet catering service who cater to everything from casual BBQs to formal dinner parties. We were lucky enough to have Kate prepare a picnic for us at a private residence.

There were several moments when we had to stop during the drive to the picnic. The scenery was simply jaw-dropping. The rolling green fields, the rugged coastlines, the lighthouse and the raw bushland… Ah, the great natural wonders of Kangaroo Island!

Kangaroo Island Source - landscape

On the road in Kangaroo Island - lighthouse

Private property at Kangaroo Island - white clothes hanging washing

As for our picnic destination? We were literally in Andy and Kate Gilfillan’s (of South Rock Lamb) backyard.

Private picnic table at Kangaroo Island

Not too shabby of a view aye?

Kangaroo Island private beach

With a pristine private beach in sight, KI felt like an entire world away. The people on KI, in particular, Kate, are really connected to where food comes from and this picnic was a divine celebration of local produce.

It’s sometimes hard to capture the moment in still images, so here’s a video I took –

Kate Sumner private catering chef

Here’s what Kate served us – American River Oysters, ancient grain salad (Kate has kindly provided the recipe below), South Rock Lamb kofta (recipe also below) with Island Pure sheeps yoghurt and Kangaroo Island Source chilli coriander chutney, crumbed confit baby abalone, Island Pure haloumi with Kangaroo Island Source beetroot relish, and bread with local olive oil made with olives that grow native to KI.

American River oysters Kangaroo Island

The American River Oysters were notably plump, sweet and smoky, some of the best oysters I’ve ever had. Note to self: Kate said she picked up the oysters from The Oyster Farm Shop (486 Tangara Drive, American River).

The grain salad was packed with superfoods and made a perfect side dish – this recipe is a real keeper.

Ancient grain salad cooked by Kangaroo Island Source Kate Sumner

Ancient Grain Salad
1888 calories
178 g
0 g
115 g
49 g
15 g
530 g
48 g
21 g
0 g
96 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1888
Calories from Fat 1006
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 115g
Saturated Fat 15g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 18g
Monounsaturated Fat 78g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 48mg
Total Carbohydrates 178g
Dietary Fiber 45g
Sugars 21g
Protein 49g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. ½ cup cooked quinoa
  2. ½ cup cooked 'dirty' Kangaroo Island lentils
  3. ½ cup cooked black or red rice
  4. 100ml Kangaroo Island olive oil
  5. 2tbsp crushed toasted almonds
  6. 2tbsp crusted toasted pistachios
  7. 3 tbsp dried cranberries
  8. Juice from 1 lemon
  9. ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  10. ¼ cup coriander, roughly chopped
  11. ¼ cup mint, roughly chopped
  1. Mix all ingredients together and season with local salt.
  1. Best served with lamb kofta and Kangaroo Island Source chilli coriander chutney.
I Ate My Way Through
Lamb kofta cooked by Kangaroo Island Source Kate Sumner

Lamb Kofta
Serves 4
685 calories
23 g
327 g
29 g
79 g
10 g
327 g
442 g
2 g
0 g
15 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 685
Calories from Fat 260
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g
Saturated Fat 10g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 327mg
Sodium 442mg
Total Carbohydrates 23g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 2g
Protein 79g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1kg Kangaroo Island lamb mince
  2. 3tsp cumin, toasted and ground
  3. 1tsp ground cinnamon
  4. 1tsp ground cardamon
  5. 1tsp chilli flakes
  6. 1tsp paprika
  7. 4 cloves crushed garlic
  8. 2 free range eggs
  9. ¼ cup of Island Pure sheep milk yoghurt
  10. 1 cup bread crumbs
  1. Mix all the ingredients together and make into which ever size of shape you like. Pan-fry or thread into skewers and cook on the BBQ until brown and cooked all the way through.
  2. Serve with extra yoghurt as a dipping sauce.
I Ate My Way Through
Definitely a lunch to remember, the highlights were the Mediterranean inspired lamb kofta meatballs made with South Rock Lamb, and the tender delicately flavoured baby abalone (also known as abalini). I’ll be blogging about Island Pure Sheep Dairy Farm soon so I won’t say much about the haloumi yet, just know that my luggage on the return flight from KI was predominantly packed with Pure Island products 😉

Crumbed baby abalone cooked by Kangaroo Island Source Kate Sumner

Pan fried haloumi cooked by Kangaroo Island Source Kate Sumner

By this point, we didn’t think anything could beat this scrumptious lunch and unhindered seascape, but it happened. From the corner of our eyes, we catch glimpses of wild dolphins frolicking in the crystal clear waters.

Next time, I’m booking this, for a week.

Wild dolphins at Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island Source
90 Cape Willoughby Road, Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island, SA
Phone: (08) 8553 1041

For more information on traveling to Kangaroo Island, go to

I Ate My Way Through travelled to Kangaroo Island as a guest of South Australia Tourism Commission

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.