Executive Chef / Owner
Johnny Earles of Bogalusa, La., opened Paradise Café in Grayton Beach in 1983. The Café, featuring New Orleans Creole Cuisine, was awarded as Florida Trend Magazine’s “Top 100 Restaurants” from 1985-1987. After that successful launch, Johnny opened Criolla’s in 1989, which features a fusion of New Orleans, Caribbean Creole & other equatorial cuisines.
Criolla’s has been awarded with the Distinguished Restaurants of North America Award 1996 through 2000, Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 1995, 1996, & 1997, Wine Spectator “Best Award of Excellence” in 1998, Florida Trend Magazine’s “Best Newcomer Restaurant” in 1990, and Florida Trend’s “Golden Spoon Award” 1991 through 2000.
In addition, Criolla’s is often featured in Southern Living, Cook’s, Self, Restaurant Business, Food Arts, Cook’s Illustrated, Nation’s Restaurant News, Atlanta, New York Magazine, Coastal Living, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The New York Times, U.S.A. Today, CNN “On the Menu” and Discovery Channel’s “Great Chefs of the South.” Recipes have been published in the New York Times Magazine and Simply Seafood as well as featured in most major southeastern newspapers.