Goodytwo's Stacey Barnes and Donna Hansen: Caramelpalooza Candymakers 2013

As the chefs competing in Smeeks and Chow Bella's fourth annual Caramelpalooza -- coming 7 p.m. Friday, April 5, at UNION -- get out the candy thermometers, we've got our pens ready to introduce you to the faces behind the caramel.

In the kitchen, Goodytwo's Stacey Barnes and Donna Hansen make the most adorably sweet mother-daughter team. As Barnes puts it, they're always "2-gether," working from family recipes and her mother's time-honored techniques.

Hansen says her tricks to toffee and caramel perfection are quality ingredients, like Madagascar bourbon vanilla, silicone spoonulas, copper kettles, candy thermometers and "Vitamin L-O-V-E." She does admit that making candy takes a lot of patience, but it definitely makes it easier to have family love and support on your side. While they make work as a team in the kitchen, they don't agree on everything . . .

See Also: - Announcing the Caramel Makers for Smeeks & Chow Bella's Caramelpalooza 2013! - Herb Box's LaDawn Driscoll: Caramelpalooza Candymakers 2013 - Donna Gabrilson & Stacey Barnes of GoodyTwos Toffee Company

My pantry always has . . . Stacey: sugar Donna: extra virgin olive oil

I don't know how I ever lived without a . . . Stacey: silicone spatula Donna: cast iron skillet in my kitchen.

My favorite candy when I was a kid was . . . Stacey: red licorice Donna: M&M's

When I go to the movies, I usually order . . . Stacey: popcorn Donna: I sneak in Goodytwo's Toffee Poppers.

My default dance move looks like . . . Stacey: Go-Go Gadget Donna: a chicken

The best vacation I ever took was to . . . Stacey: Costa Rica Donna: Carlton, Oregon (Willamette Valley Wine country)

My secret specialty for a weekday night dinner is . . . Stacey: apricot-glazed pork tenderloin with grilled asparagus Donna: grilled chicken Napa salad, paired with a nice Pinot Noir.

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch