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Millwright's Tyler Anderson To Join 'Top Chef' Cast

Tyler Anderson, the chef-owner of Millwright’s in Simsbury and co-owner of The Cook and the Bear in West Hartford, is about to add “Cheftestant” to his extensive resume.

 Anderson has been announced as one of 15 competitors on the newest season of "Top Chef," debuting Dec. 7 on Bravo. He is the first Connecticut chef to join the series, which is now in its 15th season. 

The new season is described as an "epic culinary adventure through the state of Colorado." "From deconstructing the Denver Omelet and preparing Rocky Mountain Oysters to tailgating with the Broncos, the level of competition for these 15 talented chefs is going to be a mile high. With the judges looking for the chefs' peak performances, the challenges will test the competitors' culinary abilities in picturesque locales." 

Chefs will battle it out for a $125,000 prize, a feature in Food & Wine magazine, a showcase at the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and the title of Top Chef, according to a press release. Host Padma Lakshmi and head judge Tom Colicchio return to the judges table, alongside Gail Simmons and Graham Elliot. 

A California native, Anderson served as executive chef at the Copper Beech Inn in the Ivoryton section of Essex for several years. Before that, he spent time at The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton Chicago, Equinox in Manchester, Vt. and The Arrabelle in Vail, Colo.

The 40-year-old chef opened Millwright’s, now renowned for its thoughtful, locally driven New England cuisine, in the summer of 2012. In July, Anderson joined forces with Jamie McDonald of Bear’s Smokehouse and partner A.J. Aurrichio to open The Cook and the Bear, a unique barbecue/fine dining collaboration restaurant, in Blue Back Square. The concept was born after the partners hosted casual pop-up events at Millwright’s Tavern, merging their styles.

This isn't Anderson's first television experience — he's known for his "Chopped" win in 2009, back in his Copper Beech Inn days, and he also competed on Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay” in 2014, battling the celebrity chef in a clam chowder throwdown.

Anderson is also a four-time nominee as a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation award in the Best Chef: Northeast category. In 2014, he was named as Chef of the Year by the Connecticut Restaurant Association.

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