Chris's experience with All-Clad
Chris Hastings first discovered his appreciation for food during family vacations in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. These explorations through taste and travel stayed with him, and post high school Hastings deferred his college acceptance to work in the kitchen at Silver Cricket in Charlotte, NC. There, the Executive Chef recognized his skill and suggested applying to culinary school in lieu of a traditional college education. Heeding this advice, Hastings enrolled in Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island. After graduation, Hastings returned to the South, accepting a position at the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta where he first learned to apply European influences to Southern cuisine. But, it was on a weekend trip to Birmingham that Hastings met Chef Frank Stitt of the acclaimed Highlands Bar and Grill. The two stayed in touch and it wasn't long before Hastings relocated to Birmingham to work for Stitt as chef de cuisine, where he also helped to open Bottega, Stitt’s Mediterranean restaurant. During his time with Stitt, Hastings traveled to California where he met his future mentor, Chef Bradley Ogden. In 1989, he relocated to San Francisco, to work alongside Ogden while he opened the Lark Creek Inn. During his tenure in California, Hastings witnessed the rise of the farm‐to‐table movement first‐hand and could regularly be found visiting farmer's markets to source the freshest, local ingredients. But, once again, the South beckoned and in 1991 Hastings returned to Birmingham with the goal of opening a new restaurant alongside his wife, Idie. They opened the Hot and Hot Fish Club in 1995, offering contemporary American cuisine with Southern influences and supporting the work of local artisans in both the kitchen and front of house.
In subsequent years, Hastings released his first cookbook: The Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook, A Celebration of Food, Family and Traditions (Running Press, October 2009) and began a side project consulting with other chefs, restaurateurs, and real estate developers on food service operations that benefit their surrounding communities though serving local, memorable, and authentic cuisine. Hastings has also become an active member and fervent advocate for the Alabama Seafood Commission as well as a consultant and culinary advisor to restaurants across the country and the Director of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation’s Culinary Council.
In February of 2012, Hastings competed in the Food Network's “Iron Chef: America” challenge, triumphing over Chef Bobby Flay in “Battle: Sausage”. And, just a few months later, was recognized by the James Beard Foundation as the 2012 Best Chef in the South. Hastings continues to flex his creative muscles outside the kitchen as well, and has written essays for nationally published magazines, like Food Arts and Garden & Gun with more projects in the works. He lives in Birmingham with Idie and their two sons, Zeb and Vincent.
Hot and Hot Fish ClubVisit Web Site