Chris and Idie Hastings are chef and co-owners of Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham.
Chris and Idie Hastings are chef and co-owners of Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama. Housed in a historic building on Birmingham’s southside, the award-winning restaurant has earned a reputation for serving some of the freshest and most 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. 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 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.
Chris and Idie have also expanded their geographical, if not culinary, boundaries, adding the title of restaurant consultants to their growing list of roles and have helped many operations find success. In 2015, they opened a second Birmingham restaurant, OvenBird, at Pepper Place. The menu focuses on seasonal Southern ingredients in a small plate format that takes inspiration from the live fire traditions of Spain, Portugal, Uruguay, Argentina, and, of course, the American South.
The Hastings actively participate in charity events with the James Beard Foundation and have been guest chefs and speakers at the 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 call Birmingham home with their two sons, Zeb and Vincent.