And the Caramelpalooza Winners Are....

As far as we're concerned, everyone was a winner Friday night -- sampling a tasty, creative assortment of caramels under the stars in central Phoenix, as Chow Bella and Smeeks celebrated our first-ever Caramelpalooza

Wynter Holden will parse the competition later this week in Battle of the Dishes, but we won't make you wait any longer to see if your favorite caramel -- created by one of nine chefs -- came out on top. 

(Winner after the jump.)

Our panel of judges chewed long and hard during a blind taste test, and chose Wicked Kitchen Gourmet's Beer & Pretzel Caramel Chew as their favorite. Slade Grove combined milk, cream, butter, sugar, sea salt, beer and pretzels to create the winning caramel.

Second place goes to Tim O'Connor and Honey Moon Sweets for the Arizona Citrus Honey Caramel, which incorporated Patagonia orange blossom honey, Arizona vanilla, tangerine zest, salt, chocolate and almonds. 

More than 100 folks put their sweet teeth to the test (we didn't hear of any reports of dental issues, luckily) to come up with the People's Choice Award, and while every participant had his/her fans, again, the winner was Wicked Kitchen Gourmet.

Once again, congratulations and thanks to all who participated. See you next year! 

Check back here for photos from the event, as well as coverage in Battle of the Dishes.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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