She’s one of South Australia’s culinary icons. She’s as vibrant in person as she is accomplished in the kitchen. She’s worked under Alla Wolfe-Tasker at Daylesford’s Lake House, partnered up with Karen Martini at The Melbourne Wine Room, worked beachside at Bondi’s Icebergs and felt the heat of Kylie Kwong’s kitchen, Billy Kwong.

She’s currently co-owner and chef at one of McLaren Vale’s most iconic restaurants, The Salopian Inn. And most recently, she added the title of Tasting Australia Festival Co-Director to her impressive repertoire. She is, of course, Karena Armstrong.

Karena’s ability to master mind-blowing flavour combinations, paired with her recent festival foray, makes her the perfect person, chef or otherwise, to talk to when contemplating our longstanding human love affair with pairing food and wine. And what’s more, when approached for this feature and given the choice of a traditional interview for a written piece; or going on film and having a gimbal shoved in her face whilst responding to 30 questions thrown at her with more intensity than a Saturday night Salopian Inn service; this incredible woman replied with, ‘hell yes’ to the latter.

If you’re curious to hear (and see) Karena’s views on all things food and wine, grab your glass, click the link below and prepare to be whisked away to the heart of South Australia’s McLaren Vale.

Written by 2021 WCA Wine Media Cadet, Amanda Eve

Watch the full interview HERE