Chris Hastings is chef of the nationally celebrated Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama, which he owns with his wife Idie. Located in a historic building on the city’s Southside, the award‐winning restaurant has earned a reputation for serving some of the finest and freshest dishes in the region.
Chris first became enamored with food during family vacations spent in the low country of South Carolina, and attended Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island. Chris returned to the South after graduation, accepting a position as a chef at the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta, where he learned to apply European influences to Southern cuisine. Chris relocated to Birmingham to work for as Chef de Cuisine at Highland’s Bar and Grill. He also helped open Bottega, a Mediterranean restaurant.
In 1989, he traveled to California, where he met his future mentor, Chef Bradley Ogden. Chris moved to San Francisco, where he opened the Lark Creek Inn with Chef Ogden. While in California, Chris witnessed the rise of the farm‐to‐table movement first‐hand, as he visited the farmer’s markets to source ingredients and helped test recipes for Ogden’s cookbook.
While Chris found his time in California invaluable, he moved back to Birmingham with the goal of opening a restaurant with Idie. In 1995, the Hastings opened the Hot and Hot Fish Club, a restaurant that offers warm hospitality and contemporary American cuisine with Southern influences and a beautiful space filled with the work of local artisans.
Chris has released his first cookbook: The Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook, A Celebration of Food, Family and Traditions (Running Press, October 2009). Far more than a recipe book, the pages offer a glimpse of Chris and Idie’s home and work life on a month‐by‐month basis and how they gather at the table with family and friends to celebrate the passing seasons. He has been foraging from the start of his career. In 2010, the book was selected by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) as a finalist in the annual Cookbook Awards’ Food Photography and Styling category.
The Hastings looked at what they had built and saw consulting as an opportunity to help other chefs, restaurateurs, and real estate development companies create successful food service operations that benefit their surrounding communities by serving local, memorable and authentic cuisine. Spring House at Lake Martin and the St. Joe Company are shining examples of the Hastings Consulting Company successes. Chris has appeared on television on Iron Chef America, the CBS Morning Show and the Today Show. He is a 2013 Chef Ambassador for All-Clad. Chris is also a member of the Alabama Seafood Commission. Not only has Chris written for Garden and Gun magazine, but they also recognized his hand-crafted woodcock-hawthorn pins in the Made in the South Awards. Chef Chris Hastings and Hot and Hot Fish Club have been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appétit, Nation’s Restaurant News, Metropolitan Home, Executive Traveler, Cooking Light Magazine and Delta’s Sky magazine as well as “Good Day Atlanta,” “Good Day Alabama,” the Food Network’s “Best Of”, Top 5 and NBC’s “Roker on the Road.” His 2013 articles include Eatocracy, Food Republic, Eater and The Daily Meal. He participates in the Music to Your Mouth Event annually in Palmetto Bluff, is a guest chef at Charleston Food+Wine Festival and is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance.
In February of 2012, Chris competed in Food Network’s Iron Chef America and triumphed over Chef Bobby Flay in ‘Battle Sausage.’ Chris was also awarded Best Chef: South by the James Beard Foundation in May of 2012. In 2013, Chris was featured on Bizarre Foods America. In addition to his work at Hot and Hot Fish Club, Chris is also a consultant and culinary advisor to restaurants across the country, and the Director of the ment’or BKB Foundation’s Culinary Council. He lives in Birmingham with Idie and their two sons, Zeb and Vincent.