Caramelpalooza 2013: And the Winners Are....

Twenty chefs, hundreds of people, and thousands of caramels -- Smeeks and Chow Bella's Caramelpalooza 2013, held Friday night at Biltmore Fashion Park, was (if we say so ourselves) the biggest and best yet.

Stay tuned this week for a complete caramel play-by-play by judge JK Grence, who writes Chow Bella's weekly Guilty Pleasures column. Thanks to Grence and our other judges, Christopher Gross of (among others) Christopher's; Aaron Eckburg of go lb salt; Helen Yung of Sweet Republic; Christine Heltsley of Julia Baker; Brendan McCaskey of Smeeks; and Josh Rhodes, who won our reader contest.

See also: - Caramelpalooza 2013 in Photos - Frybread from The Stand Might Be the Best-Kept Secret in Metro Phoenix

Big thanks to the Smeeks and Frances team; the folks from UNION, Biltmore Fashion Park and the Arizona Humane Society; and Chow Bella and New Times staff.

Oh, wait, you want to know who won, don't you? Here you go:

Best in Show: Jeff Kraus, Crepe Bar Best Traditional Caramel: Donna Croyle and Julie Schobert, Twist Caramel Best Out of the Box Caramel: Eugenia Theodosopoulous, Essence Bakery Cafe People's Choice: Donna Croyle and Julie Schobert, Twist Caramel

Learn more about the winners here:

- Crepe Bar's Jeff Kraus: Caramelpalooza 2013 - Twist Caramel's Donna Croyle and Julie Schobert: Caramelpalooza 2013 - Essence Bakery's Eugenia Theodosopoulous: Caramelpalooza 2013

Biggest thanks of all to all of the chefs who participated, raising not only blood sugar levels but also funds for the Arizona Humane Society.

Check out our 2013 Caramelpalooza Slideshow right here.

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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