Guilty Pleasures

Caramelpalooza 2013: Judge's Recap

The fourth annual Caramelpalooza is now but a memory. It was a grand time, with more sticky sweets on display than you can imagine. My time at the event was different from most, as I was invited to judge the competition.

As the contestants were arriving and setting up their displays, the other judges and I were sequestered in an empty shop space nearby. It was an all-star cast this year, with folks from Sweet Republic, Christopher's, Julia Baker Confections, Smeeks, go lb. salt, plus contest winner Josh Rhodes.

See Also: Caramelpalooza 2013: And The Winners Are... Caramelpalooza In Photos

This wasn't my first time as a judge. At the very first Caramelpalooza, I won the guest judge contest. Back then, it was a smaller affair, easily contained by the Frances/Smeeks/Stinkweeds parking lot. And there wasn't nearly as much caramel. This year, judges had the daunting task of sampling no fewer than 20 caramel confections. It sounded manageable. Then, once I saw all 20 confections lined up on banquet tables, I realized it was a very good thing that I came hungry.

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.
JK Grence
Contact: JK Grence