Chef Biography

Johnny Earles was born in Bogalusa, Louisiana. He moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he later graduated from Louisiana State University (LSU) and worked evenings as a pizza cook at a cowboy bar and pizza restaurant. Self-taught, he opened his first restaurant in 1983 which he called the Paradise Café, a beachfront café with no stove, located in Grayton Beach, Florida.

In 1989 he opened a much different place called Criolla’s, also in Grayton Beach, that was a white table cloth facility with a state-of-the-art kitchen. It was named one of Florida’s top 20 restaurants and in 1996, the Great Chefs television crew showed up to tape him for Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of the South series.

Criolla’s closed in 2008 after a successful run of 19 years, and Chef Earles consulted to the hospitality and real estate industry until 2013, when he opened the Grayton Bar & Grill in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.


Scallop Escabeche

Serving: 4 Print Scallop Escabeche By Great Chefs November 11, 2015 Traditionally, seafood prepared as “escabeche” is marinated in an acidic mixture that “cooks” the seafood. For this dish, the scallops are quickly seared, then cut into thin slices and marinated. The procedure adds the flavor of the browned and caramelized outer layer to the […]

Grouper Pibil

Serving: 4 Print Grouper Pibil By Great Chefs November 9, 2015 The name “callaloo,” which the chef uses for his spicy coconut broth, usually refers to a thick, spicy soup that is made with a leafy spinach-like vegetable that Caribbean locals call callaloo. On Guadeloupe, the French descendants say that “the Creole cuisine is superb, […]

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