As far as we're concerned, everyone was a winner Friday night -- sampling a tasty, creative assortment of caramels under the stars in central Phoenix, as Chow Bella and Smeeks celebrated our first-ever Caramelpalooza.
Wynter Holden will parse the competition later this week in Battle of the Dishes, but we won't make you wait any longer to see if your favorite caramel -- created by one of nine chefs -- came out on top.
Our panel of judges chewed long and hard during a blind taste test
, and chose Wicked Kitchen Gourmet's Beer & Pretzel Caramel Chew
as their favorite. Slade Grove
combined milk, cream, butter, sugar, sea salt, beer and pretzels to create the winning caramel
Second place goes to Tim O'Connor and Honey Moon Sweets for the Arizona Citrus Honey Caramel, which incorporated Patagonia orange blossom honey, Arizona vanilla, tangerine zest, salt, chocolate and almonds.
More than 100 folks put their sweet teeth to the test (we didn't hear of any reports of dental issues, luckily) to come up with the People's Choice Award, and while every participant had his/her fans, again, the winner was Wicked Kitchen Gourmet.
Once again, congratulations and thanks to all who participated. See you next year!
Check back here for photos from the event, as well as coverage in Battle of the Dishes.