St. John, Robert 1961-

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St. John, Robert 1961-

PERSONAL:

Born 1961; married; children: two. Education: University of Southern Mississippi, graduated.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Hattiesburg, MS. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Chief executive officer, president, and executive chef for restaurants in Hattiesburg and Meridian, MS. Member of board of directors, Mississippi Arts Commission, Mississippi Museum of Art, and American Wild Shrimp Council; member of national chef's council for Chefs for Humanity.

MEMBER:

Mississippi Restaurant Association (former president and chair of the board).

AWARDS, HONORS:

Mississippi Restaurateur of the Year, 1996; named among South's Hottest Chefs, Y'ALL magazine; Mississippi's Best Chef, Mississippi magazine.

WRITINGS:

A Southern Palate, illustrated by Wyatt Waters, Different Drummer (Hattiesburg, MS), 2002.

Nobody's Poet, illustrated by Marshall Ramsey, Different Drummer (Hattiesburg, MS), 2004.

My South: A People, a Place, a World All Its Own, edited by Bryan Curtis, Rutledge Hill Press (Nashville, TN), 2005.

Deep South Parties; or, How to Survive the Southern Cocktail Hour without a Box of French-Onion Soup Mix, a Block of Processed Cheese, or a Cocktail Weenie, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2006.

Deep South Staples; or, How to Survive in a Southern Kitchen without a Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2006.

Author of a syndicated weekly food and humor column; author of the blog Nobody's Poet.

SIDELIGHTS:

A native of Mississippi, chef and restaurateur Robert St. John has a passion for Southern food. He is chief executive officer, president, and executive chef of several restaurants in Mississippi, and has earned several awards for his cooking. St. John is also an accomplished writer, contributing a weekly syndicated column to newspapers, blogging at Nobody's Poet, and authoring books on topics related to Southern food and culture.

St. John's first book, A Southern Palate, is a cookbook produced in collaboration with watercolor artist Wyatt Waters. The collection includes popular recipes from his Mississippi restaurants, in addition to a number of St. John's essays and color illustrations by Waters. Bill Kehoe, an events coordinator at Lemuria Books, was quoted in a Mississippi Business Journal article as commenting: "It's quite a unique book in that it can be used in the kitchen as a cookbook and that it can be used as a coffeetable book due to the artwork of Wyatt Waters—and Robert's stories." St. John jumped into another collaboration with his second book, this time a collection of his humorous food columns punctuated with illustrations by Marshall Ramsey. My South: A People, a Place, a World All Its Own is an ode to St. John's Southern upbringing, and includes contributions from over fifty fellow Southerners who share their memories, visions, and feelings about their native land.

In 2006 St. John published two books on Southern cooking, intent on sharing traditional recipes and entertaining tips that would be familiar to Southerners but also appreciated nationwide. Deep South Staples; or, How to Survive in a Southern Kitchen without a Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup includes recipes for all the Southern standards, and Deep South Parties; or, How to Survive the Southern Cocktail Hour without a Box of French-Onion Soup Mix, a Block of Processed Cheese, or a Cocktail Weenie offers recipes in the Southern tradition with a modern twist. Time contributor Lisa McLaughlin lauded the latter book for its "quietly sophisticated recipes" which "will inspire you to throw a gala of your own."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Mississippi Business Journal, November 11, 2002, Julie Whitehead, "A Southern Palate Arrives Just in Time for Ravenous Readers," p. 84.

Time, December 4, 2006, Lisa McLaughlin, "How to Get the Party Started," review of Deep South Parties; or, How to Survive the Southern Cocktail Hour without a Box of French-Onion Soup Mix, a Block of Processed Cheese, or a Cocktail Weenie, p. 126.

ONLINE

Robert St. John Home Page,http://www.robertstjohn.com (May 24, 2007).

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St. John, Robert 1961-