Country and Sergio Velador: Caramelpalooza Candymakers

From now through Caramelpalooza -- March 2 at Smeeks candy shop -- Chow Bella will introduce you to the 18 chefs participating in the third annual caramel tasting. Today, meet the Veladors of Super Chunk Sweets & Treats. 

Husband and wife team Sergio and Country Velador describe Super Chunk Sweets & Treats as "small batch, handcrafted confections with a slant on traditional American flavors using unique ingredients and creative techniques." We've recently spotted their goods at Bodega in Scottsdale.

Country is pastry chef at Cowboy Ciao and the recipient of many awards for her sweet creations; Sergio has opened several successful restaurants and managed both fine dining establishments and gastropubs.

Let's see what they have to say.

The best part about cooking with your spouse is:

Country: We really make each other laugh and find the humor in every situation. It is great to be around someone like that, especially while you're working. Sergio: I believe we have great rhythm, whether we are in the kitchen, outside of work, or back in the day when we worked together in the front of the house.

The worst part about cooking with your spouse?

Country: He wants to put lime on everything. Sergio: Her jokes.

If you could go on "the trip of a lifetime" it would be to....

Country: My husband and I would grab our pets and drive around the world with an Airstream. Sergio: I would cycle throughout Europe, in my Team Super Chunk Sweets & Treats cycling gear, stopping off at a bunch of small and unique cafes, confectionaries, and restaurants.

Fill in the blank: The Phoenix culinary scene needs a whole lot of CANDY and a lot less CUPCAKES.

If we were planning our own -palooza, it would be called "Small Batch, Bean to Bar, All-American Chocolate Makers-palooza".

Find Country/Sergio and 17 other chefs at Caramelpalooza, Friday, March 2, from 7 til the caramel runs out, Smeeks candy store, northwest corner of Central and Camelback.

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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