James Beard Award winner Chris Hastings is executive chef and owner of Birmingham’s lauded Hot and Hot Fish Club. Hastings opened the restaurant in 1995 after spending years as a chef in Birmingham, Atlanta and San Francisco. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native incorporates Southern flavors into his American cuisine. The menus are micro-seasonal, a philosophy he learned while working alongside his mentor, chef Bradley Ogden in California at Lark Creek Inn in Walnut Creek. He cooked out West at the height of California’s farm-to-table movement, and is still a huge supporter. Hastings released his first book, The Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook, in 2009 and is the director of the Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation’s Culinary Council. He hopes to follow up the success of Hot and Hot Fish Club with a more casual spot in Birmingham this year.