Praise for The Spice Necklace


“What’s the measure of a great travel book? It makes you want to get out of your chair and follow the author. I’ve been to a number of Caribbean islands, but Ann Vanderhoof had me eagerly Googling places I’ve never been…. The Spice Necklace is a tasty treat, stuffed with (spicy) island recipes.”

            —USA Today …Complete review

“Until you decide to explore the islands for yourself, you couldn’t ask for a better armchair (and kitchen) guide than The Spice Necklace.”

            —The Wall Street Journal …Complete review

“ …a mouthwatering slice of Caribbean culture and lip-smacking foods, complete with recipes. Hungry readers will eat up the couple’s visits with wild, oregano-eating goats in the Dominican [Republic] and feel the heat of their lesson in hot-sauce making in Trinidad..”

            —The New York Post …Complete review

“…drift on the tide of the Receta’s travels through the eastern Caribbean, from St. Martin all the way down to Grenada and Trinidad, listening to the lively banter of women like Dingis and Miss Pat, who become Vanderhoof’s friends while letting her hang around their stoves, and fishermen like Dwight and Stevie, who swing by to drop off their catch and sample her lobster pizza.”

            —The New York Times …Complete review

“It’s hard to imagine a more knowledgeable and engaging guide to the islands than Ann Vanderhoof, intrepid sailor, hiker, scuba diver, cook—and a compelling writer too.”

            —National Geographic Traveler …Complete review

“…a stunningly written memoir…. The author’s adventures while finding and cooking local provisions, getting acquainted with island ingredients, cooks, and fishermen, and forming lifelong friendships with island people are illuminating and often amusing. Vanderhoof is an accomplished cook, but her insights into island life and people are worth as much as the collection of mouthwatering recipes, such as Local-Chocolate Cake. This is a must-read for anyone intending to cruise the Caribbean….”

            —Cruising World Magazine

“A warning: Don’t read this book when you’re hungry. Your stomach will surely start to rumble. Luckily, Vanderhoof ends each chapter with recipes to satisfy your cravings. You’ll find some 12 dozen recipes for everything from a moonshine punch to creamed callaloo. The Spice Necklace is a delightful food adventure memoir that just may persuade you to cruise the islands or to the nearest place you can find an authentic Caribbean meal.”

            —, “Summer Books 2010” …Complete review

The Spice Necklace is pure pleasure from start to finish. It not only makes me want to run off to an island in the Caribbean, but somehow, it makes me feel as though I already have, as though I knew the place, as though I were a part of it. Ann Vanderhoof is a remarkably smart, funny, and generous writer: she brings us on her journey, and in the process, in her words and her recipes, she gives us a journey of our own. I would follow her anywhere.”

            —Molly Wizenberg, author of the New York Times bestseller A Homemade Life

 “Vanderhoof’s second book…will have you slipping away to the Margaritaville mentality while aboard Vanderhoof and her husband’s 42-foot sailboat, the beloved Receta.…The best part: If an island getaway won’t fit into your tight budget this year, ‘every little thing gonna be all right’ because Vanderhoof offers 71 delicious recipes that will have you relishing a Caribbean staycation in your kitchen …These island concoctions are tasty enough to make you feel anything but landlocked.”

           —Elle, “Top 10 Summer Books for 2010”…Complete review

 “The Spice Necklace more than whets your appetite for the Caribbean, and in particular, Caribbean cuisine. It evokes the character, personality and strength of such wonderful sun-blessed countries. The words and recipes offer a true Caribbean escape.”

           —Gary Rhodes, celebrity chef and author of New British Classics and Keeping It Simple

“…fellow foodies will salivate over every page (and the pages containing the book’s 71 eminently boat-friendly recipes will no doubt receive their share of curry, wine and other stains, too), but even non-cooks will relish the bright insight into both island life and the well-lived cruising life this book generously spreads before you….”

            —Caribbean Compass …Complete review

“Ann Vanderhoof gives us real soul food, and a heartfelt recollection of the people who showed her and her husband what Caribbean food is all about. If you have ever doubted the allure of the Caribbean, The Spice Necklace will show you why you want to go and how to eat when you get there.”

           —Caleb Barber and Deirdre Heekin, coauthors of In Late Winter We Ate Pears

 “Ann Vanderhoof takes readers on a lively gastronomic adventure through the delightful islands of the Caribbean. You can even retrace her experiences personally through the 71 authentic West Indian recipes she provides. Altogether tasty.”

          —Cheryl and Bill Jamison, authors of Around the World in 80 Dinners

 “Ann Vanderhoof serves up a rich stew of impressions and observations about food and culture in the islands…An interesting and engaging book either to read straight through or to dip into.”

           —Globe and Mail (Canada)…Complete review

 “Prepare to be hot and hungry this winter: The Spice Necklace is a fabulous fusion of travel writing, food lore and island culture.”

           —More Magazine (Canada)…Complete review

 “Part guidebook, part cookbook, part memoir, Ann’s latest book is the perfect read for food lovers who crave adventures in the sun. …You’ll like it if: you like food, adventure and sun, not necessarily in that order.”

           — (Canada)…Complete review

Praise for An Embarrassment of Mangoes


“Reading Vanderhoof ’s evocative descriptions of the food, you’ll want to rush to the kitchen to turn out your own tropical dishes…. Vanderhoof captures sailing jargon, island patois, gorgeous vistas, and the sting of salt water. Her smooth, confident writing brings their journey to life.”

           —San Francisco Chronicle

 “Full of humor and insight . . . travel writing at its best.”

           —The Washington Times

 “Excels in painting a perfect picture of every island.”

           —Publishers Weekly

 “Finely crafted…highly satisfying…enrapt island portraits that prompt us to see and to yearn: what travel writing is all about.”

           —Kirkus Reviews

 “…memorable portraits of the successive islands, anchorages, and engaging characters she encounters [with] seriously seductive regional recipes between the chapters.”

“With an eye and an ear for the colours, characters, and flavours of island life, Vanderhoof describes places where watches are superfluous and total strangers say good morning to each other.”

           —The Globe and Mail (Canada)

“A gently passionate story . . . captured in writing so engrossing it often seems you’re witnessing their journey, not just reading about it.”
           —Winnipeg Free Press (Canada)

“[a] gracefully written and poignant account of [a] two-year maritime odyssey. . . . It’s a splendid adventure, engagingly told and teasingly punctuated with recipes from the trip.”

“This foodie’s take on armchair travel is a perfect read for this season of new hopes and resolutions.”
           —Canadian House & Home