Chef Highlight: Sam McCleland of The Bell & Anchor

Chef Sam McCleland of The Bell & Anchor
Chef Sam McCleland of The Bell & Anchor
Courtesy WordHampton

Sam McCleland, co-owner and Executive Chef of Sag Harbor’s The Beacon and The Bell & Anchor, knew he was destined to become a chef at a young age. His interest in the field first sparked while taking a simple high school cooking class in his hometown of Edwardsville, Illinois.

He continued his education at Johnson & Wales University, graduated in 1987, then began to pursue his dream. McCleland spent the early years of his career working as a private chef on yachts in the Caribbean. Later, he began working seasonally at restaurants across the country, from Martha’s Vineyard to Steamboat Springs in Colorado, before landing in Sag Harbor in 1990. He perfected his skills at renowned Hamptons restaurants such as Nick & Toni’s and 95 School Street before he reconnected with longtime friend, David Loewenberg, in 2000 to open The Beacon. A partnership was formed and the rest is history.

In 2012, the veteran duo opened a second waterfront restaurant, The Bell & Anchor, in Sag Harbor. For more, visit

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