Karla Hughes developed a passion for cooking from her grandmother, who was well-known in the South Hill community for her baking. Inspired by the joy her grandmother brought to people through her food, Karla pursued a career in the culinary industry. She began her journey at Milly’s Crossroads in 1993 and worked at several other businesses before opening her first restaurant, Crescents Grill, in 2001. Karla’s Grill and Bar at the Reef followed in 2012, where she became popular for her signature BBQ Ribs Nights. Despite the destruction of Karla’s Grill and Bar by Hurricane Irma in 2017, Karla remained resilient and continued to pursue her passion.
In 2018, Karla joined the team at Malliouhana Hotel & Spa as a Chef and was soon promoted to the position of Sous Chef overseeing Leon’s Restaurant. At Leon’s, Karla transformed and enhanced the dining experience with her creativity. During her time at Malliouhana, she co-founded “K&K on Wheels” and “Karla’s Catering” with her daughter and granddaughter which are still in operation today.
Karla has also participated in local culinary events such as the South Valley Street Fair, South Hill Christmas Experience, and Festival Del Mar, where she has been awarded wins each year for dishes such as her dumplings, pea soup, and seafood dishes. Currently, Karla serves as Sous Chef at Breezes Restaurant Aurora Anguilla, where she continues to expand her skills and knowledge in the culinary and hospitality industry. As she loves to say, “do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.”