Chef Sam Hayward of Fore Street Grille - Biography

Portland, ME

November 2011

When life on the road as a 1970’s R & B musician lost its charm, Sam Hayward traded in his bass guitar for a sharp set of knives and a summer job on Maine’s Appledore Island. With his roots in Louisiana, Tennessee, and upstate New York, Hayward took to the new coastal landscape and immediately fell in love with Maine.

After a year in New York City and New Orleans kitchens, Hayward moved to Maine permanently. In 1981, Brunswick ((a college town) was the first to experience Hayward’s cuisine when he bought 22 Lincoln and started concentrating on local food sources. His restaurant consolidated the community of local growers and showcased the unique specialties they produced in Maine's challenging northern climate. After 10 years, 22 Lincoln closed its doors to a saddened community.

Fortunately for his many admirers, in 1996 Hayward opened Fore Street Grill, a brick building on the fringes of Portland’s Old Port district. Huge wood-burning ovens dominate the open kitchen, and the daily changing menu reflects specialties of this method: turnspit roasted pork loin, wood grilled yellowfin tuna loin, wood oven-roasted day-boat halibut fillet. Fore Street diners are treated to ingredients found in local waters and forests, reflecting Hayward’s passion for the distinctively characteristic food of Maine and the Maritime Provinces.

In addition to local accolades, Hayward received a coveted James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Northeast. He has also been named Best Chef by Casco Bay Weekly. He has been featured in Atlantic Monthly, Saveur, Food Arts, Wine Spectator, and The New York Times, and Gourmet Magazine has rated Fore Street Grill 16th out of its 50 Best American Restaurants.