Robert St. John is native of Hattiesburg, MS. For the last 20 years has served as executive chef, president, and CEO of the Purple Parrot Café, the Crescent City Grill, and the Mahogany Bar in Hattiesburg and Meridian.
St. John is a nationally-known restaurateur, chef, food writer, author, and a true original. St. John, one of the nations’s only food/humor columnists, began self-syndicating his weekly newspaper column six years ago and quickly amassed a loyal and fanatical readership.The Lexington Herald-Leader called him a “Jeff Foxworthy-style chef with an opinion on all things culinary.”
Everyone from Time magazine— “St. John explores the roots of Southern hospitality with witty essays and quietly sophisticated recipes” to National Public Radio— “The Mississippi restaurateur, food columnist, and chef treats his subjects with humor and a lot of down-home conversation" —has chimed in on St. John.
He has been featured on The Food Network, The Travel Channel, and the Turner South network. He has two television projects in development and is a creative force in the gourmet food business.
A self-taught cook, St. John has been named the state’s top chef by Mississippi Magazine in 2006 and 2007. Additionally, the former Mississippi Restaurateur of the Year’s restaurant— The Purple Parrot Café— was named the best fine dining restaurant in Mississippi in 2007.
St.John has written seven books in the last six years:
-A Southern Palate, a collaboration with renowned watercolorist Wyatt Waters
-Deep South Staples or How to Survive in a Southern Kitchen Without A Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup, a collection of updated and legitimized traditional southern recipes
-Nobody’s Poet, an anthology of his food columns illustrated by two-time Pulitzer finalist Marshall Ramsey
-My South, a collaborative effort with Rutledge Hill Press and the Turner South network
-Deep South Parties a collection of new and old Southern cocktail party favorites
-Southern Seasons, a coffee table cookbook and his second collaboration with watercolorist Wyatt Waters
-New South Grill his third book with Hyperion Books due to be released in the spring of 2008
St. John is past president and chairman of the board of the Mississippi Restaurant Association. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Mississippi Arts Commission, The Mississippi Museum of Art, the advisory council of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and is on the National Chefs Council for the Chefs for Humanity Organization.
St.John has a beautiful wife and two wonderful children who obviously take after their mother.