And the Caramelpalooza Reader Judges Are....


(Note: Judges have now been selected.)

Big thanks to everyone who applied to be a reader judge for this Friday's Caramelpalooza event at Smeeks, co-sponsored by Chow Bella.

We had a wonderful assortment of entries -- everything from a reader celebrating her wedding the next day; to a reader drooling over caramel Vietnamese chicken; to several readers citing their love of Sweet Republic caramel ice cream and Essence macarons as evidence of their caramel-judging qualifications.

The good news is that everyone's a winner. True, the event is first-come-first-serve (we can't ask the chefs to create a limitless supply of caramels) but if you arrive by 7, there's a good chance you'll be in on the public tasting, even if you haven't been chosen to judge.

Now, with no further delay, we present to you our three (we couldn't stop at two) Caramelpalooza reader judges, who have won an official Chow Bella apron and will join our esteemed professional judges to choose a favorite caramel.

Our first judge was actually the very first to apply. Audrey Hundson Call won our hearts with her list, which began, "I'm a mom of 3 and I need to get out." Call also let on that she regularly gobbles both salted butter caramel ice cream and caramel macarons.

Next up is JK Grence, who wrote, "I should judge because I need a new apron, and because lots of caramel would make a very sweet birthday present. Yes, the event is on my birthday."

How can we resist?

Finally, Jacqueline Porter charmed us with "Ode to Caramel in Haiku:"

Tasty caramel.

Challenging for dental work.

Reward for my tongue.

Sweet!!! See you Friday -- for caramels, music, fun -- and drawings for Chow Bella aprons, Smeeks tee shirts and more treats.

Oh, and stay tuned for announcements of some last-minute additions to the caramel line-up. 




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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