Chow Bella Presents Caramelpalooza at Smeeks

What's tastier than a sweet, chewy, stick-to-your-dental-work caramel? A big ol' pile of 'em!

Thus (drumroll, please) Chow Bella is pleased to announce our inaugural live Battle of the Dishes event: Caramelpalooza at Smeeks candy store, Friday, March 26 at 7 pm.

We're taking this seriously, folks. We're determined to find a favorite caramel, and to that end, we're gathering panel of official judges and we're also calling on you to help us name a Reader's Choice.

In the coming days, we'll fill you in on our caramel makers. So far, we're excited to announce that former Best of Phoenix winners Helen Yung and Jan Wichayanuparp of Sweet Republic and dessert chef Tracy Dempsey are already on board for the challenge.  

To assist us in making a choice, we're enlisting some local experts in the field -- we'll name them soon -- and we need two of our readers to round out the official judging panel. In addition to a pile of caramels, judges will be rewarded with a limited edition Chow Bella apron.

If you'd like to be a judge, tell us why in 50 words or less in the comment section below. The best answer will be chosen by our food blog editor. Be sure to leave your email address so we can contact you.

Even if you aren't chosen, we hope you'll join us for our tasting at Smeeks on March 26. We'll have door prizes, and a sweet treat for everyone who joins us for Caramelpalooza.

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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