Caramelpalooza Reader Judges Announced

It's the moment you all (well, the 17 of you who entered, anyway) have been waiting for. The announcement of the 2011 Caramelpalooza reader judges.

We asked our readers to leave a comment explaining why they'd make good judges for our caramel tasting next Friday, March 11, at Smeeks candy shop in central Phoenix.

The answers were inspired. You can read them all in the comments section on this post

Find out who won after the jump.

The reader judges for Caramelpalooza 2011 are:

Omar Zamora and Shannon Dufresne

In his entry, Omar explained that he believes he's qualified because a. he watches Law & Order and therefore knows a lot about judges. And b. he has seen every episode of Top Chef.

Makes sense to us. Then Omar threw it over the top with a haiku:

Please pick me to Judge
It will be such a good time
Chowbella Tasty

Shannon, as it turns out, is the owner and maker of Crave ice cream in Phoenix. In her entry, she explained that she makes caramel almost every day.

"I adore caramel and am pretty particular about it," she wrote.

Game on!

Shannon and Omar will participate in the official blind judging portion of the event. If you did not get chosen to judge, don't despair. Caramelpalooza is free and open to all -- just remember, it's first come, first served til the candy runs out.

Stay tuned to Chow Bella over the next week for more candymaker profiles, contests and other caramel news.

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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