How do two university friends with no experience in the food business become successful restaurant owners?
They quit their teaching and banking jobs to travel the world, but run out of money before they leave North America. They operate a hotel kitchen and save just enough for a nine-month, 25,000-kilometre adventure in a Volkswagen van, to sample the cuisine and culture of Europe. By the time they return, they are hooked on food and travel. They borrow money to buy a restaurant.
They are having so much fun that one restaurant leads to another, and another, and a catering company.
When tragedy strikes with the sudden, unexpected death of a young business partner, they sell everything (their business, their houses, their stuff) and buy a motorhome. This begins an amazing nine-year, full-time, RV odyssey on the highways and back roads of North America to see where life will take them.
The roads lead to spin-off careers as food columnists, cookbook authors, travel writers, TV personalities, event speakers, and restaurant consultants.
Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay known across North America as “The Cooking Ladies” have:
- enjoyed almost 20 years of hands-on experience in the food service industry while owning and operating four successful restaurants and an off-premises catering company
- lived full-time for nine years in a 40-foot motorhome and traveled over 200,000 miles around North America
- consulted with restaurants and other small businesses to help them realize their goals and a recipe for success
- sold over 70,000 copies of their nine published and self-published cookbooks
- created numerous freelance articles about their recipes, appliance-testing, and travels
- written a regular column for 14 years for RV Lifestyle Magazine
- partnered with Home Hardware Stores for two years as their Kitchen Experts
- set aside 80 days to travel across Canada to raise money for local charities
- appeared as the cooking segment on RVTV
- given countless interviews on television, radio, and in newspapers across Canada and the United States
- entertained sold-out audiences with stories of life on the road and running a restaurant
- designed a test kitchen where they create recipes and experiment with appliances and grills
The Cooking Ladies’ appetite for adventure continues. Interesting people, fascinating towns, and new recipes are always just a bend in the road away.