Carla Perez-Gallardo (ft on left) is one half of the duo behind Lil Deb’s Oasis, a vibrant-hued, neon-lit restaurant in Hudson, New York. She and her partner, Hannah Black, are both artists, rather than classically trained chefs, who arrived at food as an outlet for their creativity. Their menu successfully marries a combination of influences, most notably the Southern food of Hannah’s Alabama roots and the home-cooking of Carla’s Ecuadorian grandmother. The pair met while working at a Vietnamese food truck and Hannah did a year-long stint at Tulum’s hottest table, Hartwood. They were recently nominated semifinalist - Best Chef Northeast by the James Beard Foundation.