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A Cook’s Tour, Arizona Style

By: Nora Burba Trulsson

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June 30, 2011

Learn the art of Arizona cooking! From French-Southwest fusion to regional delights, cooking classes of all types are offered across the state.

About the author

Nora Burba Trulsson

Nora Burba Trulsson

Nora Burba Trulsson is a long-time Arizona resident and a freelance writer specializing in travel, food, lifestyle, architecture and design topics. Her articles have appeared in Sunset, Arizona Highways, Vegas Seven,, Valley Guide, Scottsdale Magazine, United Airlines Hemispheres, Westjet's Up!, Renovation Style, Beautiful Homes and other publications and websites. She can be reached through

Take home more than just t-shirts or a suntan from your Arizona visit. Come back knowing how to make tamales, brush up on your bruschetta or learn about a chile’s heat index by dropping in on cooking classes that emphasize local foods and regional influences. You’ll find these cooking classes at resorts, special schools, shops and in private homes. Here are just a few to get you cooking.

The Cottage Place Restaurant Cooking Classes, Flagstaff

Owner/chef Frank Branham hosts weekly cooking classes and wine tastings at his charming restaurant, housed in a 1909 bungalow in downtown Flagstaff’s historic district. Classes explore the restaurant menu’s eclectic and traditional offerings.

Janos Cooking School, Tucson

James Beard Award-winning chef Janos Wilder of Tucson is best known for his melding of French techniques with Southwestern ingredients. Several times a year, he teaches cooking classes emphasizing local and regional ingredients at his Janos restaurant on the grounds of the gracious Westin La Paloma Resort.

Les Gourmettes, Phoenix

Cookbook author and television personality Barbara Fenzl hosts weekly demos between September and May with chefs and cookbook authors, followed by meals, at her gracious Phoenix home. She’s well-connected; her teachers have included Jacques Pépin, Hugh Carpenter and local James Beard Award-winning chef Christopher Gross.

Sweet Basil, Scottsdale

Variety is the spice of this Scottsdale cooking school/gourmet shop’s class offerings. One day, it’s tortillas, quesadillas and salsas; the next, you could be learning the art of French desserts. In between, the school offers classes for kids and teens, and even a course in making healthy snacks for Fido.

Tina’s Cocina, Yuma

Historian, architect and cooking teacher Tina Clark brings in everyone from pedigreed chefs to tamale-making grandmothers to teach the art of regional cuisine. Classes are held at St. Paul’s Cultural Center in Yuma, a restored 1909 Gothic church.

Chef's Table, Tubac

Check out Tubac’s art galleries and history, then head to the new state-of-the-art cooking school to learn to make breakfast omelets, a Southwestern lunch or a Mexico City-style dinner during one of their dozens of monthly classes, taught by the facility’s cadre of local chefs.

(Updated by the Arizona Office of Tourism – 2009)

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