Southern food has always been in Chef Chris Hastings blood. Even as a boy in North and South Carolina, while catching and preparing fresh fish on family vacations, his love of southern cuisine and the culinary arts was strengthening. After spending a few years in Atlanta and San Francisco as Sous Chef for various restaurants, Chef Hastings and his wife, Idie, opened Hot and Hot Fish Club, focusing on fresh and local Southern ingredients.
Located in downtown Birmingham, Hot and Hot Fish Club opened in 1995, and is one of the first farm to table restaurants located east of the Mississippi River. Chef Hasting’s menu focuses on fresh and locally grown ingredients and is focused on Southern French, and California style dishes, while his wife, Idie, a trained Pastry Chef, works to perfect the dessert menu. The restaurant itself is open and airy, with windows that overlook a backdrop of downtown Birmingham. Guests can choose to sit at the bar for a more casual feel, in the dining room, or overlooking the kitchen. While the menu at Hot and Hot Fish Club changes daily based on the availability of local ingredients, guests can expect to always find a few classic dishes readily available. Even the cocktails are made with local farm to table ingredients and a favorite is Apple of My Eye, made with Apple, Lemon, Falernum, and Tonic. Shrimp and Grits are a perfect appetizer for those looking for a refined take on a classic Southern dish. Made with South Carolina Rice Grits and Benton’s Ham, this savory dish has been a staple for years and is a local favorite. For the main course, guests can choose between items such as Crispy Duck with Gnocchi, Chicken Fried Steak with Collard Greens, and Sautéed Red Snapper. No matter what you choose, the flavors are rich, perfectly seasoned, and made with the freshest ingredients. Make sure you save room for dessert! The Hot and Hot Glazed Donuts with a Blood Orange Glaze and Coconut Crème filling are sure to make you want to return for more.
- James Beard; Best Chef in the South, 2012
- Iron Chef America Winner, 2012
Chef Tony is a 42-year veteran of the food industry and is often known by his peers as “The New Product Guru.” Throughout his illustrious culinary career, he’s earned several notable titles and positions including Acquisition International’s “Most Influential Product Development Expert, U.S.” in 2019.
In 1997, Tony also founded Culinary Systems Inc., a group of culinary consultants that assist with culinary training, restaurant start-ups, concept development, and more. Since then, Tony and his team have generated over two billion dollars in sales for their clients in restaurants, retail, and manufacturing.
The strategic, technical, and culinary skills of Tony and his team can be seen on the menus of national chains, in the portfolio of national food manufacturers, and on the grocery shelves of products produced by major retail companies.