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Patrick Noling, born in 1959, grew up in Michigan before moving to Destin, Florida. He earned a degree in accounting from Birmingham Southern University. After college, he took an accounting job that left him unsatisfied. Noling left that job to make a career as a fine dining waiter. In 2002, a colleague convinced Noling to apply for a server position at Highlands. He began waiting tables there that year.
Noling researches the food he serves at Highlands. For most seafood items on the menu, he knows where that fish swims, how deep it goes, and what it eats. Acknowledging the depth of his search, and the breadth of his accumulated knowledge, his colleagues jokingly call him “Fishipedia.”