Chris Hastings - Executive Chef, Hot and Hot Fish Club
Chris and Idie Hastings are chef and co-owners of Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama. Housed in an historic building on Birmingham’s south side, the award-winning restaurant has earned a reputation for serving some of the most fresh and refined dishes in the region.
Chris honed his skills at the Johnson & Wales Culinary School in Providence, Rhode Island. After graduation, he moved to Birmingham—where he and Idie met—and worked for Frank Stitt as Chef de Cuisine of Highlands Bar and Grill. Later, he also helped to open Stitt’s second restaurant in Birmingham, Bottega.
In 1989, the couple moved to the Bay Area where Chris worked under Bradley Ogden to open the Lark Creek Inn in Larkspur, California. While on the west coast, Idie enrolled in the California Culinary Academy and could be found in the esteemed kitchens of Jeremiah Towers’ Stars Café, Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio and at Patisserie Francaise. In 1995, the Hastings opened the Hot and Hot Fish Club, which was one of the first farm to table restaurants east of the Mississippi. In 2015 the Hastings opened Ovenbird, a live fire restaurant in Birmingham.
In 1998, they were recognized with the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence and since then have been extensively featured in the media, most notably in The New York Times, USA Today, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Food Arts and Food and Wine.
Chris was honored with the James Beard Best Chef: South award in 2012.
Idie has also garnered wide acclaim, notably when Birmingham Business Journal named her to their list of the Top 10 Birmingham Women in 2003. In her free time, she dedicates her energy to the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and is committed to animal welfare causes, including Hand in Paw, an animal-assisted therapy group.
Chris and Idie have also expanded their geographical, if not culinary, boundaries adding the title Restaurant Consultants to their growing list of roles and have helped many operations find success.
The Hastings actively participate in charity events with the James Beard Foundation and have been guest chefs and speakers at Music to Your Mouth Event at Palmetto Bluff, the Charleston Wine+Food Festival, and the Southern Foodways Alliance. Chris also serves as an advocate for the Alabama Seafood Commission and Director of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundations Culinary Council. Idie and Chris continue to call Birmingham home with their two sons, Zeb and Vincent.