The annual Home Loan Taste of the Grand Valley to benefit United Way of Mesa County was the perfect way to end our day long fundraising radio-thon on Monday (Feb 11). By the time I had sampled all the food, I felt like I'd eaten a five-course gourmet meal. Here are some of my favorites from the event.

I have to admit, everything I tried was incredibly delicious so my picks are just a sample of the all the great food at the event.

I loved the vendors like Main Street Bagels and Cowboy and the Rose catering who dressed up in costume for the event. The bagel shop, in Alice in Wonderland attire were serving up some of their famous beverages including a delicious orange cinnamon decaf tea. It was sweet, spicy and really hit the spot. As sweet as it was, I was surprised to learn the tea contained zero added sugar.

Ed Chandler, KOOL 107.9

Cowboy and the Rose catering made eating pirate food both tasty and fun with their cous-cous, barbecue meats and apple crisp. A stop by this booth was a meal in and of itself and both entertaining and delicious. These folks are one of the perennial favorites of the annual tasting event as evidenced by the long line of people who just had to have a sample.

Ed Chandler, KOOL 107.9

Gateway Canyons took a southern staple and turned it into an incredible gourmet delight with their black truffle, cheesy grits with chipotle demi-glaze. I never could have imagined preparing grits this way and could not believe how great this tasted. If this is the kind of dish grits are supposed be in, then I'll be eating more of them.

KOOL 107.9 Photo

I took time to pose with the Two Rivers Convention Center staff as they explained to me their bleu cheese waffle, topped with barbecue pork and pineapple coleslaw. It didn't sound very appealing at first, but when I tried it, the flavors all came together perfectly and it was really awesome. I'm glad They talked me into it.

KOOL 107.9 Photo

I discovered during a stop at the School District 51 booth, the perfect comfort food. Roasted corn, green chile and potato soup. School lunch was never this good when I was growing up. Unfortunately, this isn't on the district's menu yet, but when it is, I know where to find a tasty meal to warm me on a chilly day.

Ed Chandler, KOOL 107.9

Gotta say those little cupcakes from Pattie's Tiny Cakes made the perfect dessert. The chocolate was terrific but it was the orange zest berry filled cupcake that really tantalized my taste-buds. The orange followed by the berry and a delicious orange after taste was just what I needed to cap the night off.

If you weren't able to attend the Taste of the Grand Valley or donate to our United Way of Mesa County radio-thon there's still time and the need is still great.