Best of Phoenix

Tasty Freeze: Ray Karam

Ray Karam is trademarked. At least, his title is. As tastemaster for Cold Stone Creamery, this guy takes his frozen treats seriously. Cold Stone is headquartered in Scottsdale, with more than 1,400 stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam, Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan. That's a lot of ice cream. Karam helped put the cake batter flavor on Cold Stone's menu, and, earlier this year (and a more dubious honor, we feel), French toast. Karam is no licker-come-lately. He's worked decades in this chilly business, for Carnation and Nestlé before Cold Stone. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.

I arrived in Phoenix in August of 1978, just married, penniless and itching for an opportunity.

When I’m stuck in traffic, I sing with the CD.

I never forget to TiVo anything about classic-rock stars!

On Saturday night, you can find me usually behind a guitar.

My favorite thing about summer in Phoenix is that heat equals ice cream, ice cream equals fun, and fun is the best part of living.

If I could redo my first kiss, I’d kiss longer.

The one dessert I refuse to eat is bread pudding. Yuck!

If I was mayor of Phoenix, I’d vastly improve the public transportation.

In high school, I was the kid who worked hard, played hard, and had a full beard.

In another life, I was the favorite dog of a fabulously wealthy woman.

On my nightstand, you’ll find an alarm clock, a reading lamp, and usually a cookbook.

The fictional character I’m most like is Merlin. I've been around a long time, and frequently the magic happens!

One thing I want to do before I die is get a motorcycle.

The best thing about Phoenix is I feel like I'm on vacation all the time!

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at