Take a Bite out of Appledore: An Eco-Culinary Island Retreat

  • Canceled

'Dinner on the Rocks!'

Six miles off the New Hampshire coast, the Isles of Shoals has both rich history and ecology. From the cod fishermen of the early 1600s and the glamorous Appledore House of the nineteenth century to today's world-class Shoals Marine Laboratory, Appledore Island has hosted people that share a deep connection with their food and the natural world.

In this unique retreat, we bring together ecologists and award-winning chefs to interpret the many natural gifts the Isles of Shoals have to offer. Come learn about the importance of establishing a sense of place, while also protecting a vital resource. And bring your appetite for food and knowledge!

Featured in Edible South Shore Magazine!

Featured in September 2018 issue of Yankee Magazine! 

Featured in 2016 issue of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Magazine!

Participants will forage for edible plants across the island, exploring trails and gardens, both maintained and wild. Along the rocky shore, comb for mollusks and seaweed, much like the island's colonial inhabitants. Ship out to sea in search of oceanic fish and benthic life as you learn each species' role in Gulf of Maine fisheries.

Dinners will be served en plein air while ocean views abound and the calls of passing seabirds fill your ears as the smell of steamed shellfish wafts off your plate. Take a Bite out of Appledore is the perfect weekend getaway for connoisseurs of food, science, and Isles of Shoals culture!

  • (603) 862-5346


    Price: TBD

    Price is per person. All-inclusive with: overnight accommodations, all meals, snacks and beverages, all program activities, and round-trip boat transportation between Portsmouth, NH, and Appledore Island. Space is limited due to our vessel and housing capacities. This program is open to adults 21 years of age and up.


Appledore Island is a rugged landscape with uneven, slightly steep and rocky paths. Access on/off the island is via a floating dock, a steep ramp, and a set of stairs. Sturdy walking shoes are required. Please review our Safety at Shoals page for any questions about boat safety, island terrain, medical access, or dietary needs.

Guests must be 21 or older to participate

Departure from Portsmouth, NH:


Departure from SML:


Please note: Participants should anticipate the total boat transit time to be approximately 90 minutes.

SML boats will run rain or shine, so long as the captain deems it safe to travel. Passengers should come prepared with appropriate clothing in the event of rain or high winds (ocean spray). If the captain deems travel unsafe, boats schedules may be impacted until the weather passes. Communications regarding any weather-related delays will come via email and telephone from SML's main office.

Cancellation Received:

  • At least 30 days before departure = 100% refund
  • 29-15 days before departure =  50% refund
  • Less than 15 days before departure = 0%


Chef Sam Hayward

Partner & Chef at Fore Street and Scales in Portland, ME
Chef Hayward is a winner of the James Beard Foundation “Best Chef – Northeast” and Chef’s Collaborative “Sustainer of the Year” award. Watch Sam on TEDx–it’s a fabulous video with lots of photos from Chef Hayward’s early days at Shoals Marine Laboratory.

Chef Evan Mallett

Owner & Chef at Black Trumpet Bistro in Portsmouth, NH and Ondine in Belfast, ME
For several years, Chef Mallett has been a James Beard semi-finalist for Best Chef, Northeast, and serves as an active member of Chef's Collaborative, Slow Food Seacoast, and the Heirloom Harvest Project.

Chef Cameron Heins

Sous Chef at Black Trumpet Bistro
Chef Heins is a graduate of the Johnson & Wales College of Culinary Arts and was the Head Chef at Shoals Marine Laboratory from 2017 - 2019, running Appledore Island's kitchen and meal service. He has worked with Chef Mallett at both the Black Trumpet and Ondine restaurants for several years.

John Forti

Executive Director of Bedrock Gardens in Lee, NH
Mr. Forti co-founded and served as the board chair for Slow Food Seacoast. He serves on the bio-diversity committee for Slow Food USA and as a governor for Slow Food in New England. He has previously served as Director of Horticulture for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Chief Curator/Director of Historic Landscapes at Strawbery Banke Museum, and Director of Horticulture at Plimoth Plantation Museum. He is also the author of The Heirloom Gardener: Traditional Plants and Skills for the Modern World.


Eugene Won, Ph.D.

Senior Research Associate, Academic Coordinator for Shoals Marine Laboratory, College of Animal Science, Cornell University.
Dr. Won's research focuses on promoting resourceful methods to help grow a much-needed U.S. aquaculture industry, which will ease pressure on wild fish stocks while improving our nation’s food security.

"During my time as a chef at SML on Appledore Island, I fell in love with the Gulf of Maine—not just the breathtaking seascape but the whole biological system. Cutting open a 30-pound cod, I found it full of baby lobsters, stacked up all facing the same direction. You could see the community interactions in the Gulf: those became an object of fascination that I still feel. How do we connect the dots and keep that community thriving? This program is a step in that direction." - Chef Sam Hayward