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Lifestyle Weddings

West Hartford Chef and Restaurateur Ties the Knot in Gatsby Style

Melanie Stepka and Tyler Anderson celebrated their wedding on Sept. 2, 2018, at the Goodwin Hotel. Courtesy of Connecticut Food and Farm

Tyler Anderson, owner of West Hartford’s The Cook & the Bear as well a Millwright’s Restaurant in Simsbury and Porrón&Piña in Hartford, married Melanie Stepka of Farmington on Sunday.

Dessert buffet by Kristin Eddy. Anderson-Stepka wedding. Sept. 2, 2018. Courtesy of Connecticut Food and Farm

By Ronni Newton

Melanie Stepka, a native of Farmington, CT, and nationally-renowned Chef Tyler Anderson, celebrated their wedding in high style on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018, at the historic Goodwin Hotel in Hartford following a ceremony at Hartford City Hall.

Anderson, a chef-testant during the most recent season of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” veteran of multiple Food Network shows, James Beard Foundation nominee, and former Connecticut Restaurant Association Chef of the Year, is also chef/owner of Millwright’s Restaurant in Simsbury and co-owner of West Hartford’s The Cook & the Bear and Porrón&Piña at the Goodwin.

The boutique hotel, originally built as an apartment building in the 1880s and converted to a hotel in the 1980s, was completely renovated and reopened in 2017. The bride and groom decided that the majestic setting, which retains many of the elements of the building’s original grandeur, lent itself to a historic theme for the wedding celebration.

The wedding’s ornate Gatsby theme included flappers, “cigarette” girls passing out candy cigarettes, fabulous white flowers by White House floral designer Ruth Loiseau of Ruth L., and a 6-foot-high flowing tower flowing with Tattinger’s champagne.

Many of the guests – who included “royalty” from among the local and national food scene – came dressed in 1920s fashion, and the groom sported a Gatsby-appropriate white dinner jacket with black lapels. Stepka’s stunning fitted lace gown by Monique Lhuillier and shoes by Jimmy Choo, were of modern design but fit perfectly with the Gatsby style.

Food and drink naturally took center stage, and Anderson’s own culinary team had the opportunity to showcase its talents by catering the event, including an array of desserts by noted pasty chef Kristin Eddy and styled by Together LLC. The cake was designed and baked by Traci Martin of Springfield-based Cake Crusader. Short ribs and lobster cakes were just some of the main course options.

When the guests finally departed, each took home a favor also tied to the theme: a Prohibition era-styled nip.

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Anderson-Stepka wedding. Sept. 2, 2018. Courtesy of Connecticut Food and Farm

Anderson-Stepka wedding. Sept. 2, 2018. Courtesy of Connecticut Food and Farm

Anderson-Stepka wedding. Sept. 2, 2018. Courtesy of Connecticut Food and Farm

Anderson-Stepka wedding. Sept. 2, 2018. Courtesy of Connecticut Food and Farm

Anderson-Stepka wedding. Sept. 2, 2018. Courtesy of Connecticut Food and Farm

Anderson-Stepka wedding. Sept. 2, 2018. Courtesy of Connecticut Food and Farm

Anderson-Stepka wedding. Sept. 2, 2018. Courtesy of Connecticut Food and Farm

Anderson-Stepka wedding. Sept. 2, 2018. Courtesy of Connecticut Food and Farm

Anderson-Stepka wedding. Sept. 2, 2018. Courtesy of Connecticut Food and Farm

Anderson-Stepka wedding. Sept. 2, 2018. Courtesy of Connecticut Food and Farm

Anderson-Stepka wedding. Sept. 2, 2018. Courtesy of Connecticut Food and Farm

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