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Chef Ramin Ganeshram’s Five Favorite Things About Westport

WESTPORT, Conn. – Journalist, chef and author Ramin Ganeshram, who has appeared as a judge on the Food Network show “Throwdown With Bobby Flay,” has called Westport home for the past three years. During her time here, this native New Yorker has grown to love several things about Westport.

On the top of her list is Compo Beach. “It’s not just a beach — it’s a community hub,” she said. “It’s such a beloved and well-attended beach. The fact that it’s such a heartbeat in the community is a favorite thing of mine.”

Another “true favorite,” Ganeshram said, is the Levitt Pavilion. Like Compo Beach, she said the Levitt is another place that draws the community together. “I love the idea of it. I’m so happy they’ve got the money to get it redone. I think [the new pavilion] will bring out even more people.”

As a chef, Ganeshram loves the variety of grocery stores in town and enjoys all the restaurants the town has to offer.

In addition to having a variety of grocery stores to choose from, Ganeshram said one of her absolute favorite things about Westport is that plastic shopping bags are banned in town. “I’m really proud of Westport for doing that.”

Last, but certainly not least, Ganeshram said that because Westport is an artists’ community, she has a “robust community of writer friends,” unlike other communities she has lived in.

Ganeshram holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and trained as a chef at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. Among her career highlights, she has worked as a feature writer for the New York Times and as a food columnist for Newsday.

In addition to appearing on the Food Network in October 2010, she filmed an episode of “Top 5” for Travel Channel in April focusing on unique food across America.

She’s the author of two cookbooks and the novel “Stir it Up.” Her next book, a picture book about George Washington’s slave chef Hercules, is expected to be released by 2014.

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