Take a Bite Out of Appledore: An Eco-culinary Island Retreat

ATTENTION: All registered public program attendees are required to 1) read our 2021 Operating Plan, 2) visit our Getting to Shoals page to review the necessary travel and pre-arrival COVID-19 testing information, 3) register using the link in the Dates section below, and 4) complete our Overnight Participant Forms.  

Take a Bite out of Appledore
'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 as an individual or as a group to 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 with ocean views abound and the calls of passing seabirds in your ears. Sit with a glass of wine in hand 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!

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:

Friday, August 27: 1:00 PM ET

Departure from SML:

Sunday, August 29: 2:00 PM ET

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.

Gregg Moore, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor, Academic Coordinator for Shoals Marine Laboratory, Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, University of New Hampshire
Dr. Moore specializes in anthropogenic impacts to coastal wetlands and the management of invasive species within these habitats. Dr. Moore teaches 'Coastal Habitat Field Research Methods' at Shoals Marine Laboratory.

Jennifer Seavey, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Shoals Marine Laboratory
Dr. Seavey’s primary research focus is the influence of anthropogenic environmental change on wildlife populations and ecosystem function. She teaches 'Marine Environmental Science and Conservation' at Shoals Marine Laboratory, and is the Principal Investiagtor of the Tern Conservation research program on White and Seavey islands in the Isles of Shoals. Dr. Seavey is the Kingsbury Director of Shoals Marine Laboratory and on the faculty at School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering, University of New Hampshire and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University.

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

Event Type


Please note: This program is currently full. Join the waitlist by clicking the register link located on this page.

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, so reserve your spot soon! This program is open to adults 21 years of age and up.


(603) 862-5346