Tony Onzures is the teaching chef of Anza

Tony Onzures’ Mexican meatball soup, called albondigas, is a masterpiece of color, textures and flavor. Anza Valley Outlook/Courtesy photo

Inspired by his mother and a TV sitcom character, Chef Tony Onzures decided to improve wholesome homemade fare in Anza, one private lesson at a time.

His cooking students learn to make popular dishes – from appetizers, desserts and entrees – all from scratch. His gentle and positive guidance is the talk of social media.

“Believe it or not, my mom was my first inspiration to cooking, but actor John Ritter’s character – Jack Tripper from TV show ‘Three’s Company’ – sealed the deal,” Onzures said. “It all started when mom would let me lick the spoon, and the rest fell into place with Jack Tripper’s antics. I have my Associate of Arts in culinary arts from the International Culinary School at the Arts Institute of Austin, Texas.”

Asian potstickers are on the menu at one of Tony Onzures’ private cooking lessons. Anza Valley Outlook/Courtesy photo

In the culinary world, cooking is both a science and an art.

“What I’m offering is private lessons,” he said. “After the prospective student and I create a menu, we work out an ingredient list. When the list is completed, then I come over and either get to work preparing the meal, or get the student involved and teach them.”

The lessons are for anyone at any skill level, and cost is negotiable, he said.

From beginners to seasoned cooks, Onzures said he shares his love of food as inspiration. The activities have been held in his student’s homes so far, he said.

“The atmosphere is light, and I do my research for classic recipes or contemporary. The main goal is to get folks to eat fres, and get away from fast food and expensive meals,” he said.

Onzures said no food genre is overlooked. Asian, Mexican, American, Italian, Southern, Southwest fare and more are fair game.

For more information about Tony Onzures’ private cooking lessons, contact him by leaving a message at (501) 615-5059.

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at