Chef Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club - Biography

Birmingham, AL

May 2012

Chris Hastings’ love affair with food first began on family vacations in the low country of South Carolina. After high school, Hastings worked for a year at Silver Cricket in Charlotte, after which he decided not to attend Appalachian State University and instead enrolled in Johnson & Wales Culinary School in Providence. He returned to the South after graduation, first working at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta, and then Highlands Bar and Grill and Bottega in Birmingham. In 1989, Hastings moved to San Francisco to open Lark Creek Inn with mentor Bradley Ogden. In California, Hastings was introduced to the farm-to-table movement and interactions with local farmers great influenced his culinary philosophy.

By 1995, Hastings was back in Birmingham and had opened his own restaurant Hot and Hot Fish Club, where he was in charge of savory menu and his wife Idie Hastings managed the dessert menu. For his warm and contemporary Southern cuisine, Hastings was a nominee for the James Beard Best Chef: South award in 2007 and 2012.