Nationally recognized culinary professional Johnny Earles

inspires new seafood dishes at Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood


            Destin, FL …Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, always a leader in providing fine dining to the Northwest Florida coast, announced an extraordinary culinary collaboration with Johnny Earles.

“Seagar’s is pleased to have an opportunity to work with Johnny Earles and his stellar reputation for fine cuisine.” said Gary Brielmayer, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa general manager. “With his award-winning talents, Johnny is going to bring another layer of experience to the restaurant and focus on new seafood creations to do, in effect, what Seagar’s has already done with our established excellence in steaks.”

Ben Rose, with Southern Wine & Spirits has done business with Seagar’s for many years. He is in complete agreement with Brielmayer, adding, “This is exciting news for Seagar’s. Not only do they have the most extensive wine cellar in Northwest Florida with their highly qualified server’s wine pairing expertise, now Johnny Earles’ influence in seafood will enable Seagar’s to continue to raise the bar to new heights for their guest dining experience.”

Since its opening in 1998, Seagar’s has distinguished itself for its classic steakhouse offerings, creative seafood presentations with international influences, dramatic tableside preparations and open-theater kitchen. Best known for its beautifully hand-selected and perfectly cut and presented USDA Prime steaks, award-winning Seagar’s continues to be extolled by critics as of the of the finest dining destinations in the region. Seagar’s is Destin’s only AAA Four-Diamond restaurant and only one of two in Northwest Florida.

None of the traditional offerings or service will change. Johnny Earles will provide his creative culinary inspiration, allowing Seagar’s to include some new and exciting seafood offerings in addition to the traditional steak.

Johnny Earles’ roots in Northwest Florida go back to 1983, when he opened his first restaurant, Paradise Café, in downtown Grayton Beach, where the Red Bar is currently located. Within a short period of time, Earles gained national attention with the Washington Post naming Paradise Café the best restaurant between Atlanta and New Orleans.

            With that success under his belt, Earles built and opened his legendary Criolla’s restaurant on Scenic Highway 30A in Grayton Beach. Criolla’s was in operation for twenty years, garnering every conceivable award and journalist coverage possible. The restaurateur was featured in the New York Times, CNN, Southern Living, Coastal Living, Bon Appétit and every major newspaper in the South.



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Johnny Earles/Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood


In the early 1990’s, Criolla’s was closed during the shoulder season. Earles spent the fall and winter months working with Chef Martin Berasetegui in San Sebatian, Spain.  He has also worked with New York City chefs he calls the leaders in Manhattan cuisine, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Charlie Palmer and Tom Colicchio, now the head judge on the reality TV show, Top Chef. These three chefs are considered amongst the top two dozen chefs in America. He was a four-time guest chef of the James Beard Foundation, the prestigious non-profit organization formed to preserve America’s culinary heritage. He has also been a guest chef at Harlan Estate and Miner Family Vineyards for the Napa Valley Wine Auction, as well as performing guest chef stints in Miami, Nashville, Cap Juluca on the Island of Anguilla, and most recently, at Bon Appétit Magazine in New York City.

            “I am honored to have an opportunity to work with Seagar’s at the Hilton Sandestin Beach,” said Earles. “I look forward to a long-term relationship with Seagar’s culinary team.”

            He further added, “I’ve always been envious of Seagar’s unique ability to secure incredibly difficult wine labels for Seagar’s, I will be able to match our new seafood creations, with an emphasis on fresh Gulf seafood, with appropriate wines not to be found at other establishments.”

Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood is located on the lower lobby level of the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa.  Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (850) 622-1500 or online at Keep up with the latest Seagar’s news on Facebook:

To learn more about the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, visit on-line at, or call (850) 267-9500.

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Kay Phelan

Phelan & Lowry, Ltd.

137 Rue Caribe

Destin, FL 32550

Cell: 850.376.1551

Fax: 850.837.8365


Johnny Earles inspires new seafood dishes at Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood

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