Special Event
Christopher Hastings Idie Hastings
Christopher and Idie Hastings
Hot and Hot Fish Club
Birmingham, AL

Saturday, May 11, 7:00 P.M.
Members $85, guests $110

Who doesn't like it hot and hot? Steamy, that is, with a little bit of spice. Sizzling, zesty, and fresh. Back in the days when Chris Hastings's great-great-grandfather was fishing the waters off Carolina's Low Country with his cronies, they enjoyed their catch "hot and hot" (fresh from the flame and served with spicy condiments, as the rules of their eating club dictated). Hastings wasn't a glimmer, but there in his ancestor's eye, Chris's culinary inspiration was born. "These men would get together because they loved to fish and eat and spin tales," said Hastings. "That's the environment I wanted to have. A place for food, wine, and friends."

At the high-energy Hot and Hot Fish Club, Hastings and his wife, Idie Hastings, have created exactly that sort of convivial spot. The menu reflects what's in season, Hastings's Low Country boyhood, and his formal training. That relaxed culinary mixture has earned Hot and Hot any number of enthusiastic reviews. "Bright-flavored seafood still stars," Gourmet foodsters Jane and Michael Stern wrote. And Susan Swagler gave the place four stars in The Birmingham News, calling Hot and Hot her "personal favorite."

As a teen, Hastings decided that a life in the kitchen was the life for him. He enrolled at Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island, and after graduation got a job at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta. Next, he moved to Birmingham, where he worked under Frank Stitt at the Highlands Bar & Grill (he met Idie there) and helped open Bottega. In 1989, Chris and Idie moved to San Francisco. There, Chris spent several years with Bradley Ogden at the Lark Creek Inn, and Idie attended cooking school and worked, making sweets at Pâtisserie Française and Wolfgang Puck's Postrio. In 1995 the couple moved back to Birmingham and opened the inviting Hot and Hot Fish Club. Three years later, they won a Robert Mondavi Culinary Award for Excellence, and in 2000 and 2001, Chris was voted Best Chef in Birmingham by Birmingham Magazine.


Grilled Monterey Bay Sardines with Purple Finger Potatoes, Grilled Ramps, and Basil Aïoli

Polenta and Quail Canapés with Micro Cress and Smoked-Bacon Vinaigrette

Deep Fried Baby Artichokes with House-Cured Anchovy and Parmesan Dressing

     Robert Mondavi Stags' Leap District Sauvignon Blanc 2000

     Robert Mondavi Carneros Merlot 1999

Braised Lobster Tail with Chef's Garden White Asparagus, Baby Fennel, Red Carrots, Tiny Green Beans, Rich Lobster Broth, and Basil and Lemon Oils

     Robert Mondavi Carneros Chardonnay 1997

Herb-Crusted Breast of Wild Turkey with Petite Watercress Salad, Sweet 100 Tomatoes, Laura Chenel Goat Cheese, and Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette

     Robert Mondavi Carneros Pinot Noir 1999

Roasted Niman Ranch Spring Lamb and Homemade Lamb Sausage with Wild Onion Pancake, Hearty Arugula, Balsamic Roasted Torpedo Onions, Land Cardoons, and Garlic Dressing

     Robert Mondavi Kalon Estate Vineyard Boomerang 1999

Plumquat, Meyer Lemon, and Darjeeling Sorbet with Apricot Soup and Fraises des Bois

     Robert Mondavi Moscato d'Oro 2000

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