Virgin Islands Cook House Cooking


by Doris and Ivan Jadan (Zhadan), 1984 edition of the 1973 publication. Soft covers, comb binding, 91 pages. This self-published book is truly fascinating and authentic as well. The authors were not born in the Virgin Islands, but made their home there for many decades, and embraced the indigenous cuisine wholeheartedly. Ivan Jadan is an unlikely resident. He was the first major artist dissident to escape Stalin's terror in 1941, and reach the U.S. eight years later. He also survived an assassination attempt while in New York City in 1949. We'll let his wife's introduction explain further:

"Former Premier Lyric Tenor of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow (1928-1941), Ivan Jadan does, in fact, sing for his suppers on St. John in and around the cook house where these suppers are prepared. How he came to the Virgin Islands in 1955 is an opera in four acts and this is only meant to be a cook book... Over the past 29 years on St. John, we have chopped, mixed, beaten, stirred, kneaded, stewed, sauteed, baked, fried, boiled, broiled, steamed, frozen, jelled -- in a word, cooked each of these recipes in our Cook House."

In this, you'll find amazing St. John specialties such as Goutu Gumbo, Anchovied Angelfish, Wilks and Rice and of course Salt Fish Cakes and Kallaloo. Ivan Jadan died in 1995 at age 95.

Many of these recipes first appeared during in the '60s and '70s in their food column in The Daily News of the Virgin Islands. Rare. Except for a smudge on the front cover, VG+.

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