As Carmel and Kawachinagano, Japan, prepare to celebrate 30 years as sister cities, Carmel resident Ethan McAndrews is creating a cookbook to mark the milestone.
McAndrews, a 2017 Carmel High School graduate and an international relations graduate student, is gathering recipes, profiles and stories about food and culture from each location for the book, to be released in 2024. It will feature 15 entries from each community in honor of the 30th anniversary of Carmel and Kawachinagano’s sister city relationship.
McAndrews is working with Carmel as well and the Kawachinagano International Friendship Association to put together the book.
“It’s important now more than ever to find ways in which we can connect with each other, whether that’s through sports, whether that’s through art or whether that’s through food, and so (the book will look) deeper at those universal things that make us human,” McAndrews said. “There’s a lot more that connects us with food than divides us, and so this project was inspired by that realization.”
McAndrews is waiting for travel restrictions to be lifted in Japan so he can visit and talk to Kawachinagano residents about their favorite culinary experiences. He hopes to travel overseas within the year. In January 2020, he was awaiting the start of a PGA internship in Beijing when he was sent home as COVID-19 spread across China.
Now, he is looking forward to exploring another nation.
“Japan has such a rich and unique national identity, so having never been to Japan before, I’m really excited about being able to visit for the first time. I think there’s something very wonderful about discovering a place and a culture,” McAndrews said.
McAndrews is also looking for input for the book from Carmel residents. Anyone wanting to share about food, recipes, stories, restaurants and people that best represent Carmel or Indiana can contact McAndrews at [email protected] or through the Facebook page “The Carmel-Kawachinagano Cookbook Project.”