Caramelpalooza

Caramelpalooza 2011: The Results Are In

The competition got sticky Friday night at the second annual Caramelpalooza, co-sponsored by Chow Bella and Smeeks. We're not sure of the exact head count -- beyond the fact that the line wrapped around the block -- but we do know that approximately 2,750 caramels were gone in about an hour's time. 

That's quite a sugar rush. 

Big thanks to the 11 chefs who participated. The range of flavors and methods of caramel-delivery were incredibly varied -- and delicious. 

Get a description of each entry -- and ok, we'll tell you who won -- after the jump. 

Eugenia Theodosopoulos from Essence Bakery Cafe placed first in both the blind tasting and people's choice categories, which is impressive considering her entry -- a caramel macaron -- was the least traditional. 

Tammie Coe of Tammie Coe Cakes and MJ Breads Bakery placed second in the blind tasting with the "tadpole" -- a candy-coated caramel many compared to a Tootsie Pop. And Brendan McCaskey took third with his peanut butter and jelly caramel

McCaskey placed second with the people, and in a squeaker, Slade Grove of Wicked Bakery/Cookies from Home took third with an assortment that included a ginger caramel

Other sweet offerings included: honey tangerine caramel from Tim O'Connor of Honeymoon Sweets; dark chocolate-covered crunchy toffee with pecans from Virginia Senior of Urban Beans; smoked sea salt caramel from Danielle Morris of Cork; caramel with soy sauce aged in bourbon from Tracy Dempsey; German chocolate cake caramel from Veronica Arroyo of Bourbon Steak; blood orange caramel with smoked salt and guajillo chili "fun dip" from Meghan Olesen of Elemental Sugar; and toasted orange caramel with candied tangerine from Brianne Day at The Herb Box.

Did you miss the candymaker profiles? Here they are, once again:

Tammie CoeEugenia TheodopolousMeghan OlesenVeronica ArroyoBrianne DayVirginia SeniorSlade GroveDanielle MorrisBrendan McCaskey and Tracy Dempsey

Come back Wednesday when Wynter Holden puts her dental work to the test in a special Caramelpalooza edition of "Battle of the Dishes."

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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 amy-silverman.com.