The General is lucky enough to have Kate Hanson, a McLaren Vale local, as our Cellar Door Manager. We sat down to ask her some questions to get to know her.

  1. In 50 words or less, how would you describe yourself for people getting to know you?

I am a driven focused mum to two awesome little beings! I love to laugh, often at myself.  Constantly love to challenge myself and I am always trying new things. I always seem to have a lot on my plate, and that’s the way I like it.


  1. What’s your favourite thing to do in your down time?

I love to hang with Poppy and Harvey, my kids and my family and friends. I LOVE being outdoors, and being active! When time permits, I am also chipping away at a Physiotherapy degree.


  1. Why do you want to work at The General?

I feel privileged to work with very talented chefs, and passionate and excellent staff. I love telling the stories of the wine and meeting new people and welcoming back regulars. The space we work in is AWESOME too!


  1. Where has your passion for food and wine come from?

My dear dad, rest his soul, challenged my palate from a very early age. He loved to cook, and my fondest memories of him are always associated with food. My interest in wine was initially fostered by my Grandfather (Dad’s dad) who was something of a connoisseur and always brought fantastic bottles of wine to our family dinners.


  1. What makes The General so unique?

Our offering sets us apart straight away I think! We offer a 3 course set menu that is the same for everyone that joins us on any given day. This is quite novel for the region, but everyone loves it! We have such a beautiful setting, with beautiful wines to compliment the experience.  Come and see for yourself!

Our second in charge of the kitchen, is Marc Howard. Marc joined The General this year and has helped in various forms from painting and paving, to kitchen construction and now, he is finally doing what he enjoys, cooking! We sat down with Marc to get to know him a little better.


  1. In 20 words or less, how would you describe yourself for people getting to know you?

Friendly and easy going….I’m a simple guy.


  1. Tell us a little about your past experiences in kitchens?

All of my past experiences have been different to each other from fine dining, cafes and mines. The ranges of kitchens I’ve worked in has broadened my skill set. I’ve been lucky to work with good people and have learnt a lot. I still have a lot to learn.


  1. What are your favourite things to do outside of work (hobbies/interests)?

I love to work on my property, go surfing and hang out with my family, particularly my child.


  1. What’s your favourite dish to cook and eat? Why?

Ah….. Reuben sandwiches! Because they’re awesome, they’re delicious, who doesn’t love reuben sandwiches?!


  1. Why do you want to work at The General?

It’s never boring, every day is something new and different. I have the opportunity to be more creative, which is really good. And I have worked with Ben Sommariva before, and I know he’s really good and I’m learning a lot from him. So it’s good for me in that I’m learning more and it keeps it interesting. I also like working here because it’s a good lifestyle choice, as much as I love working here, I get to spend more time with my family.


  1. Where has your passion for food and wine come from?

I didn’t love it cooking at first, but I do now, it came about as an accident, I worked as a kitchen hand when I was 16 with a very good friend of mine, he started giving me simple tasks and could see that I had initiative he offered me an apprenticeship, I took it and from there I’ve fallen into it. It wasn’t something I ever thought I would do and now I really enjoy cooking. In regards to wine that’s a growing passion, since working in Willunga and The Vale and now here, working with winemakers and around winemakers it’s something I find myself more and more interested in. It seems like a no-brainer that I should be interested in it I work with food, and food and wine live together.

Well the doors have been open for nearly two weeks now, and what a fabulous two weeks we’ve had so far. The interest and support from everyone has been overwhelming. And so much love has been shown towards our chefs. So it’s only fair we introduce to you… Head Chef Ben Sommariva.


  1. In 50 words or less, how would you describe yourself for people getting to know you?

A jovial character (hahahahaha) but in the kitchen I’m very serious. Friendly… I suppose, good humour and fun to be around. What is this, Tinder?


  1. What’s your favourite dish to cook and eat, and why?

Spaghetti Puttanesca – it ticks all the boxes. It reminds me of home and my childhood. It’s beautiful in all seasons it’s ‘unami’ fifth flavour, simple 3 ingredients.


  1. Why do you want to work at The General?

I’ve been waiting for ‘this’ (the concept) for years. Being totally a part of the whole project. I haven’t only just been designing the kitchen, I’ve been helping with painting and landscaping and have been putting myself into the construction of The General. It’s stressful at times and can be frustrating, but I’m looking forward to watching the soul of The General grow. It’s a blessing.


  1. Where has your passion for food and wine come from?

My family. Nona always said it doesn’t matter how big your wallet is but it’s whats on the table. If you eat like a king, you are a king. Foods always been a huge part of my life. Food is life.


  1. From your past experience in other kitchens, what do you think makes The General so unique?

We are inviting people to our home, The General is a home, it’s a third space for people to come relax enjoy time with their family friends and eat and drink.

We are really excited to announce that this Saturday the 3rd of December we are officially opening!

Thank you for your patience during the build period and promise you the wait and anticipation will be well worth it.

We look forward to finally having you at our new home.

15219968_1156002377780743_545509222595859293_n   img_5527  15303904_10154822351193060_128033034_o

Brad Rey, of Zonte’s Footstep gave us a few minutes of his time to answer some getting to know you questions and his thoughts about The General.










  1. In 50 words or less, how would you describe yourself for people getting to know you?

Born in Canada, studied architecture, fell in love with food & wine industry. Consummate consumer, easy going, generous, no frills kinda guy. Canadian. Old Farty. Social beast.


  1. What’s your favourite Canadian pastime/food, and why?

Ice hockey, I was born in July and started skating at 6 months old. I’ve always been involved in skiing. One of the things I miss the most is the food, good quality Canadian maple syrup, good authentic Mexican food and pumpkin pie.


  1. What was your inspiration for wanting to start up The General?

We have been in the business for a long time. Didn’t want a cookie cutter type of business. We wanted somewhere to go to share the things we love. The brand is most important


  1. Where has your passion for food and wine come from?

I started off working at McDonalds when I was 13 as a night shift manager, then onto Earl’s, which is a huge chain in Canada then when I was 17 & 11 months old I started managing a bar. I trained to be a chef and received my “blue paper” (the Canadian equivalent). I also owned a single malt bar for 15 months. With wine I want to put a smile on peoples faces.


  1. What makes The General unique?

The fact that our fresh food is fresh, we have an immersive culture all about exploration. It’s a communal place where we can come together, how I can show my love to people is how I feed them. The people is what makes the General most unique . All of us involved in it, this is our family, there is no clock on or clock off.

We sat down for five minutes with Ben Riggs, of Mr. Riggs Wine Co., for an interview about himself and his passion for food and wine and the inspiration behind The General Wine Bar & Kitchen.


  1. In 50 words or less how would you describe yourself (for people getting to know you)?

I am active and passionate about the industry I work in and the community in which I live. I’m a real sports nut and am actively involved in my boys basketball club.

  1. What was your inspiration for wanting to start up The General?

Global domination…. Jokes… I like making things that people like to eat and drink. I wanted something to be the face of what I do and love and to be different to all other offerings.

  1. Where has your passion for food come from?

My mother was an amazing cook she used to make things like schnitzels (which were fancy back then) and croissants. She still cooks the same stuff now as she did 30 years ago. It was amazing. There were always people at our table having a meal on the weekend, we would have 15 people come over for breakfast. Sometimes my friends would even say they would come over just for my mum’s food!

  1. What makes The General unique?

The offering is a set menu, we cook what is fresh, local and delicious. People are given the opportunity to grow and evolve and perhaps try things they hadn’t tried before. The Cellar Door is a Wine Bar, there is nothing like it. The structure of the wine tasting and the food offering is a winning equation.

  1. What’s your favourite food and wine combination?

Um…. I actually haven’t thought about that. It’s a hard one. Rose champagne and oysters.

The General Wine Bar & Kitchen is unique in that we select for you the food we love, the wine we love. Essentially we offer to you a little piece of ourselves. We are in our wine, in our food and in our service. It is for this reason that we want to introduce you to the people of The General. These people are integral to The General and the brands they represent, Mr. Riggs Wine Co. and Zonte’s Footstep. So please stay tuned as over the week we introduce the faces that are so important to us and our future.