Tourné Cooking School offers personalized cooking classes in Grand Junction |

Tourné Cooking School offers personalized cooking classes in Grand Junction

Brittany Markert
Suzanne Hanzl started Tourne Cooking School two years ago to share her passion of food and home-cooked meals.
Brittany Markert / | Free Press

Suzanne Hanzl’s earliest memories are hanging out in the kitchen with her mom and dad. You could say food is in her blood, growing up on a large farm locally grown food was the norm.

“Before the farm-to-table movement became popular, that’s how we lived,” Hanzl said. “I have always loved being in the kitchen and love eating the food, too.”

Hanzl originally went to college to study law enforcement, but retired from the force after her son was born. Her husband eventually encouraged her to go to school for her culinary degree at Colorado Mesa University, where she graduated. Soon after graduating her focus became to teach others how to cook as well. Thus, two years ago, Tourné Cooking School was born.

“I try to get the intimidation out of the way when they come into the kitchen,” she said. “I want them to say I can do this and it isn’t something that’s scary.”

The cooking school offers open classes as well as private lessons for parties, couples and families. Hanzl explained the dishes she teaches can easily be replicated for dinner the next night, or for months to come. Her menus also change with what is trending in the cooking world, or if she recently visited a place, bringing what she found to the table at home. Classes are held either at her house in Grand Junction, or at a host house.

Her main class is a six-part course, teaching the basics of cooking, including knife skills, making stocks, grains, meats, seafoods, salads and dressings. The class costs $325 per person.

She explained her classes differ from other cooking classes in town because of her flexibility and ability to add certain elements students want to learn about.

“I always ask my students before class if there is anything they want to learn in the class,” Hanzl said. “It’s really tailored to what you need, or want, to learn.”

Most classes also teach students how to cook from scratch, using local ingredients when possible.

“I really try to promote simple, whole, healthy foods and prefer them in whole, or raw, form,” she added.

One of the key elements she teaches during her classes is the idea of bringing people together. She hopes her students will have sit down meals to not only enjoy the food, but to enjoy each other’s company as well.

“You also get a sense of accomplishment after making it,” Hanzl said. “For me, it’s not all about the cooking, but it’s about the after — taking the time to eat, talk and make a point to sit down. People aren’t doing that any more. I love to cook, but I also love to eat it and share that time with people.”

Her clients range in ages between 10 and 70, parents teaching their college-aged students how to have homemade meals, or retirees getting back to making food at home.

“Cooking with Suzanne has fundamentally changed my cooking habits,” said Jen Meyer, who recently took a class. “She has changed the way I shop, prepare foods, menu plan and execute dishes. I can’t say enough about Suzanne and what she has to offer. Her passion for cooking oozes out of her and you can’t help but be inspired when you are cooking with her.”

Hanzl encourages folks to contact her via email ( or phone (970-208-7770) if interested in taking a class.

“My specialty is helping people get over the hurdle who don’t know how to do anything,” she added.

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