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.
LaDawn Driscoll might be a newcomer to the Caramelpalooza competition, but she's no novice when it comes to the art of making caramel. As The Herb Box's chief of sweets, she's in charge of prepping the salted caramel shortbread and English toffee for their sweet and salty board. She also makes a mean salted caramel ice cream for dessert.
However, she says the real trick is to experiment all the time. Recently she's made caramel cheesecake, spiced apple scones with a caramel sauce and a whiskey butterscotch pudding. It's versatility that keeps Driscoll inventing, which means we expect a unique and innovative entry from her this year.
The first herb in my herb box I'd put with caramel is . . . Lavender. Especially in a nice honey caramel.
The herb I'd never mix with caramel is . . . Dill. That sounds so gross. Now I'm going to have to try it just to make sure it's not awesome.
If true love were a food, it would be . . . Warm chocolate-chunk bread pudding with salted caramel ice cream. Pizza is also a valid answer.
When I'm not making food, I'm making . . . Beer. I've been experimenting with home brewing, it's super-fun and you get to drink!
If there were a zombie apocalypse, I would make sure my backpack was carrying . . . I should probably say Nutella or something, but let's be realistic. There are zombies. Definitely a crossbow.
I would definitely win a . . . beer-drinking-palooza competition. I really love beer. No, really.
Even though I eat a lot of sweets, I try to run at least twice a week to stay fit. Although, 10 hours a day on your feet in the kitchen burns a lot of calories.
My Netflix Instant Watch queue is mostly . . . Nickelodeon shows and Toddlers and Tiaras. My children have ruined both my abs and my Netflix queue.
My favorite pet was named . . . Bobberton Q. Driscoll III.
If I got a food tattoo, it would be . . . the chemical composition of chocolate would be a pretty cool tattoo.
This post has been edited from its original version.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.