Three interesting minds + One topic + Drinks and/or Dinner.

The Milking Stool is an event series held in Kangaroo Valley and showcasing some of the Shoalhaven’s best food and wine.

Three invited guests — innovative minds on a particular topic — will have the chance to say what they think, without limits, on some unexpected subjects.  

These aren’t talks on fake news, politics or religion (although sex is likely to rear its head). Not because those topics aren’t important - they are - but because we think difference can be explored in lots of ways, including ones that are fun, enlivening and unexpected.  

Your role? To listen with an open curious mind to three very different points of view – some you’ll love, some you’ll disagree with, some that may surprise you.

The format

The Milking Stool offers three options. Interviews plus a sit-down dinner with the speakers. Interviews with a mezze plate. Or just the interviews.

Interviews + dinner

Join our speakers for a sit-down dinner after the interviews. We’ve lined up chefs with experience in hatted and Michelin-starred establishments, and awards from Best Regional Restaurant in NSW to Young Chef of the Year. They come to us from Rockpool, Lochiel House, Quay, Tetsuya’s, Nomad, St Peters, The French Laundry and The Ledbury. Their focus is on creating menus that use seasonal local produce and regional wines – helping local growers affected by drought, fire and flood, as well as delighting diners.


Don’t worry if you haven’t booked the dinner. We won’t let you starve.  Our mezze plates should cater for most tastes, and the bar will be open if you fancy a good red or a cold beer. And, like the formal dinner, the offerings will be focussed on using fresh local produce, so you can help our farmers while enjoying yourself. 

Interviews only

Even if you’re not eating, the bar will be open after the interviews for those who want to deconstruct the evening over a drink or two.

So check out the Events list, book for the interviews-plus-dinner, interviews-plus-mezze or just the interviews, and prepare for some fun.

The Interviewer

Mary Moran was an Emergency Medicine doctor in Australia, a diplomat in London, a campaigner with Médecins Sans Frontières in the Netherlands, France and the UK, and founder of a global health think-tank at the London School of Economics. She’s dined with Aung San Suu Kyi, been a typist at the ABC, worked with Mother Teresa, and been told that she’s a square peg who should leave the round hole of bureaucracy (she did).

In this increasingly polarised world, and with a lifetime of advocacy, opinions and encounters under her belt, she’s eager to explore with you the challenges and pleasures of difference.

Image Gallery

Upcoming Events

The Food & Farms

The winemakers, olive growers, oyster farmers and veggie providers who supply us are also ready to welcome you. We hope you’ll stay around to visit them and take home some local produce for when you can’t be in the Valley in person.