Caramelpalooza

Herb Box's LaDawn Driscoll: 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.

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.

See Also: - Announcing the Caramel Makers for Smeeks & Chow Bella's Caramelpalooza 2013! - Red Velvet Pancakes from The Herb Box - Churn's Monica Castillo: Caramelpalooza Candymakers

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.

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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