Carla Labat was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. At age 12, her family moved to Dakar, Senegal, where her father served as Peace Corps director. During the five years she and her family lived in West Africa, Carla gained an appreciation for the local cuisine and music. A year in a Swiss boarding school heightened her interest in international cultures and foods. After graduating from the University of Maryland, Carla moved to Manhattan where she pursued a career as a retail manager and accessories buyer. While traveling in Europe and throughout the U.S., she was constantly introduced to new restaurants and developed a reputation among her friends and associates as a dining and travel connoisseur. Her own frustrations over not being able to identify or find restaurants featuring the type of cuisine she most enjoys prompted her to pull together this unique guide. She spent four months on the road seeking out these establishments, sampling the food and entertainment offerings, and personally interviewing close to 300 owners, managers, and chefs. Carla self-published this guide.