St. John Memories: Erva Boulon’s “My Island Kitchen”

The 1966 copy of VI View, lent to me by Maureen Anderson contained one of the chapters of Erva Boulon’s  book My Island Kitchen, which was published in its complete form in 1969..

St. John, US Virgin Islands Memories: My Island Kitchen My Ilsand Kitchen, Erva Boulon St. John Virgin islands

In her blog, Random Thoughts, Bish Denham, Erva’s grand daughter, who grew up on St. John writes about her grandmother.

“…After World War II Grammy ran Trunk Bay as a guest house. She did it without electricity, cooking three meals a day for her guests. John Dos Passos, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer and his wife were among some of her more well-known guests. She gained the reputation for being a superior hostess and an excellent cook. Using local foods, she learned how to prepare them in ways that would please American taste buds. An article was written about her in the cooking section of the New York Times and she wrote a cook-book call My Island Kitchen. I loved having breakfast at her table because she would toast your bread on a charcoal pot set on a small table next to her chair….”

When Trunk Bay was sold to the Virgin Islands National Park, Erva moved over to Maho Bay with a new husband, Bill Thorp, and built another small guest house called “Lille Maho” next to the present Maho Campground, which she operated through the 1960s.

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2 thoughts on “St. John Memories: Erva Boulon’s “My Island Kitchen””

  1. I used to sell this cookbook in my store on St. John, “Catch & Keep” in the late 70’s. I had hundreds of them and they flew out the door. It is a great read as well as a great cookbook. Before I knew what had happened, when I called E.C. Denham, (Erva Boulon’s daughter) to get more, she said she was completely out. I have one copy left, which fell apart, so that I laminated the pages to prevent the loss of it. E.C’s daughter, Erva, told me many times that she would have it reprinted, but I haven’t heard anything about that happening. Anybody know whether it happened?

  2. hi there-I am currently working at maho bay outside my tent are the ruins of a building-any info on the building you can give me please let me know
    also I would love to get a copy of the book catch and keep please let me know
    sue at maho bay

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