Juan Mayo, a cook in the Michael’s Genuine kitchen, cooked his Stagiaire Supper meal in April and went to stage with chef Chris Hastings for a week in July at his restaurant Hot & Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama. I sat down with him with the intention to do a Q & A, all I had to say was “Tell me what you learned from the experience,” then his eagerness to share, and the kindness he’d been met with, silenced me. Jackie had a similar experience when she phoned chef Hastings for the same.
“It showed me a whole different kitchen,” Juan said. “I’d never been to another kitchen before. I got there on a Monday, and they’re closed on Monday, so I had time to drive around and see the place. Birmingham is freaking beautiful. It’s really green and they have all these old buildings, and hills. They have this big furnace because it used to be an old steel town. I didn’t have a chance to go inside but I saw it driving by and it was really impressive.”
It was a very difficult time in the Hot & Hot family, chef Hastings explained.