Food is often at the center of celebrations, such as holidays, birthdays and graduations, so former Hamilton County resident Karen Kennedy recently authored “Hamilton County Food; from Casual Grub to Gastropubs.”
The book was released May 6. It celebrates past and present family owned restaurants in Hamilton County.
“The most important thing to know about the book is it features exclusively independently owned restaurants,” said Kennedy, and Indianapolis resident who has lived in Carmel and Fishers. “It traces the history of little mom-and-pop places, coffee shops and diners and how those restaurants moved the culinary scene forward until we get to where we are today.”
Kennedy researched the history of restaurants by interviewing local residents and visiting the Carmel Clay Historical Society, Hamilton County Historical Society and Westfield-Washington Historical Society.
“It was essential to get the historical aspect of it right, but it was a challenge because restaurant history is not well-documented,” she said.
Kennedy works as a copywriter but also has restaurant experience.
“I have mad, crazy respect for how hard the work is and what a labor of love it is for restaurant owners,” she said. “It was really important for me to tell their tales and celebrate them.”
The book details how readers can spend a foodie weekend in Hamilton County.
“I tried to outline a great weekend of food with and without kids,” Kennedy said. “The book is really for everyone. You know you could start with breakfast at Rosie’s Place and then to Peace Water Winery in the afternoon. If you have kids, you could go to Tina’s Tea Room.”
The book is available at Turn the Page bookstore in Westfield, Silver in the City in Carmel, Conner Prairie in Fishers and on amazon.com. Kennedy will conduct a book signing Aug. 17 at Heritage Clothier and Home in Indianapolis from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.