Chef, Author, Restauranteur, & World-Class Eater


Robert St. John is a restaurateur, chef, columnist, and author. Robert St. John has spent almost four decades in the restaurant business. Thirty of those years have been as the owner of the Purple Parrot, Crescent City Grill, Mahogany Bar, Branch, Tabella, and Ed’s Burger Joint in Hattiesburg, MS. For 20 years he has written a weekly syndicated newspaper column.  

St. John was just named a part of the 2017 ‘Mississippi Top Fifty’ by Y’all Politics and Supertalk Mississippi.  St. John has been named the state’s top chef three consecutive years and was honored as Mississippi Restaurateur of the Year.   

His restaurant— The Purple Parrot Café— has been named the best fine dining restaurant in Mississippi and just received its sixth Four-Diamond rating from the AAA Travel Guide. Additionally, in 2011, AAA named Purple Parrot Café the second-best fine-dining restaurant in the South (just behind Commander’s Palace). Tabella has been voted “Best Italian” in Mississippi, Crescent City Grill has been voted one of “Mississippi’s Top Ten” restaurants, and the Mahogany Bar has been voted among the “Top 100 Beer Bars in America” for the past three consecutive years.

St. John is the author of ten books, including three previous collaborations with watercolorist Wyatt Waters. His 11th book, A Mississippi Palate, another collaboration with Waters was released November 1st. Their book, An Italian Palate, was written in Europe while St. John, his wife, and his two children traveled through 17 countries on two continents for six months. He and Waters lead group tours to Italy twice a year.

St. John is the creator, producer, and host of the Public Broadcasting series Palate to Palette with Robert St. John and Wyatt Waters which begins airing on October 12th.

St. John has been featured in USA TODAY and appeared on The Food Network, The Travel Channel, National Public Radio, Martha Stewart Living, and the Turner South network, among others.

In 2009, St. John founded Extra Table, a non-profit organization that purchases healthy foods and provides them to soup kitchens and mission pantries throughout Mississippi.