Chefs of Distinction / Chronological

Chris And Idie Hastings

Christopher and Idie Hastings are chef and co-owners of the nationally celebrated Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama. Located in a historic building on Birmingham’s Southside, the award-winning restaurant has earned a reputation for serving some of the finest, freshest dishes in the region.

Chris developed his love for and relationship with food during family vacations spent in the low country of South Carolina. He graduated from the Johnson & Wales Culinary School in Providence, Rhode Island and then returned to the South (Atlanta) in 1984 to work at the Ritz Carlton. After moving to Birmingham, he worked for Frank Stitt as Chef de Cuisine of Highlands Bar and Grill and helped launch the opening of Bottega. In 1989, the Hastings moved to San Francisco, where Chris opened the Lark Creek Inn with Bradley Ogden, who left a tremendous influence on Chris’ culinary education. While in California, Idie attended the California Culinary Academy and worked at Jeremiah Towers’ famed Stars Café and Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio, and honed her bakery skills at Patisserie Francaise.

In 1995, the Hastings returned to Birmingham to open the Hot and Hot Fish Club where Chris focused on the dinner menu and Idie used her pastry experience to develop the dessert menu. Today, although the menus change daily to highlight the best possible products available, several signature items remain: the Hot and Hot Shrimp and Grits made with Country Ham, Fresh Thyme, Tomatoes and Ver Jus is always a favorite among the locals, and Elton’s Chocolate Soufflé with Fresh Cream continues to be the preferred ending to many meals at the restaurant.

The Hastings and Hot and Hot Fish Club have been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food Arts, Nation’s Restaurant News, Santé Magazine, Coastal Living magazine, Metropolitan Home, Executive Traveler, Cooking Light magazine and Delta’s Sky magazine as well as on “Good Day Atlanta,” “Good Day Alabama,” the Food Network’s “Best Of”, and NBC’s “Roker on the Road.”

Hot and Hot has earned the “Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator for 11 consecutive years. In March 2007, Chris was one of five finalists nominated for “Best Chef in the South” by the James Beard Foundation. Chris’ previous honors include: induction into Leadership Birmingham in 2005; service on the advisory board to the Chef’s Garden’s Culinary Vegetable Institute with Charlie Trotter, Alain Ducasse, Norman Van Aken, Douglas Rodriguez, Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Ed Brown, and Bradley Ogden; 1998 winner of the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence for “Best New Restaurant” and voted Birmingham’s best chef in Birmingham Magazine’s Readers’ Poll. In 2003, the Birmingham Business Journal listed Idie Hastings as one of the Top 10 Birmingham Women. This year she was listed in the Women’s Issue of Birmingham Weekly, which promotes women in business.

The Hastings are active participants in charity events with the James Beard Foundation, and have been guest chef and speakers at other culinary events, including the International Wine & Food Society, The Culinary Vegetable Institute, the Institute of Culinary Education, the Charleston Food and Wine Festival and the Southern Foodways Alliance.

Chris also serves as a consultant and Culinary Advisor to restaurants and restaurant groups across the country and is an Alabama spokesperson for Wild American Shrimp. Idie and Chris live in Birmingham with their two sons, Zeb and Vincent.

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Chris and Idie Hastings



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