They’re a common food in several Latin countries, including Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, but empanadas are made a bit differently in Argentina. “We have an edge because we actually bake them,” Nicolás Ibarzabal, co-owner of 5411, told the Decider in 2009. ”Here in Chicago there are a couple of places that offer empanadas, but they’re pretty much all deep-fried. We like to think of ourselves as the new healthy frontier of empanadas.”
Along with pals and fellow Buenos Aires natives Mariano Lanfranconi and Andrés Arlia, Ibarzabal makes the flaky baked treats in nearly a dozen varieties. You’ll find traditional hand-cut beef empanadas as well as Americanized versions including barbecue chicken, which Ibarzabal admits is one of his favorites despite chuckles from his Argentine friends. The trio started 5411—a mash-up of Argentina’s country code, 54, and Buenos Aires’s city code, 11—in 2009 as a catering company before rolling out a food truck and finally opening a shop in Lakeview. That shop makes deliveries by the dozen, and the same pale-blue food truck—perhaps the catalyst for 5411’s success—still takes to the streets daily, urging office dwellers to emerge from their cubicles and horses to escape from their buggies.
In 2001, Dr. Robert Samit had a vision, which was a pretty appropriate phenomenon, considering that he's an optometrist. He saw in the future a network of eye doctors, united under the banner of a single company that provides trusted community doctors and a huge selection of value-priced and designer eyewear frames.
Together with company president Sue Downes, they equip this army of eye examiners with the latest technology. When a doctor determines that a corrective lens is called for, he or she prescribes them and MyEyeDr.'s team of eyecare consultants helps patients choose from a huge array of frames from such brands as Gucci, Coach, Oakley, and Ray Ban RX.
Butch Bernstein gave up the corporate world to follow his passion for photography, opening IMB Images Photography in 2007. During sessions, Butch strives to capture his subjects’ natural essence and eschews stiff, traditional composition for more lighthearted posing. His portfolio showcases this easy-going bent with outdoor shots of kids in the grass, in-studio family portraiture, and mini-box sessions that squeeze subjects into white cubes to produce a collage of unique images that fit nicely on any mantelpiece or highway billboard.
A water-survival instructor for more than three decades, Rita Goldberg established the British Swim School following a career on Great Britain's national swim team. Children ages 3 months (with a parent) and up can hone their gill skills during the school's 30-minute swimming lessons. Beginners start by learning how to float on their backs—a crucial technique that lets swimmers rest, breathe, and spot life-preserver-shaped clouds. Classes, which are taught year-round in heated, indoor pools, consist of small groups of students learning techniques from the basics to the more advanced freestyle and breaststroke.
Valerie has spent more than 15 years developing her skills as a psychic, chakra therapist, and life coach—skills that range from dispensing practical advice to seeing the future. At Germantown Psychic, she channels her expertise into private tarot-card readings, chakra-balancing sessions, and aura cleansings, a pleasant alternative to spritzing the air around you with Windex. Valerie especially excels at addressing universal human conflicts that center on love and family, business, and health.
Before Irene Abdou became a full-time professional shutterbug, she labored for humanitarian causes and non-profits in Africa and Asia. She pours her experience with the gritty realities of life into each image she captures, imbuing them with sophisticated photojournalistic qualities that speak to both activists and art aficionados. Her work has been honored and published by organizations such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), the Global Health Council, the National Parks Conservation Association, and Traveller Magazine. Irene was named a selected artist at the 2008 Chelsea International Fine Art Competition, which was sponsored by Agora Gallery New York. To continue her work as a travel photographer, she received a grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. In an effort to stay true to her philanthropic roots, Irene donates to Operation Smile—a charity that provides volunteer surgeries to children suffering from facial deformities in developing countries.
In addition to these accolades and pursuits, Irene has also been acknowledged for her ability to document personal milestones. She won Wedding Wire's Bride's Choice Award in 2011 and 2012. Besides the knot-tying ceremonies, her portfolio chronicles each point around the circle of life, from the birth of a new child to baptisms, mitzvahs, engagements, and anniversaries. To help consumers discern between photogs and fauxtogs, she offers a guide to choosing a photographer entitled The 5 Fundamental Concepts, which answers important questions such as "What can I do if my photographer turns out to be a scarecrow?"