It amazes me to discover performing artists who are equally as talented in the visual arts. My personal favorite, singer Tony Bennett—who I’ve seen three times in concert and actually bumped into in Mexico a few years ago—also happens to be a world-class painter. Local Renaissance man Preston Jackson, of course, is one of our finest jazz guitarists, in addition to his masterful work as a sculptor and painter. And you may be familiar with Dr. Jeffrey Hoover of Illinois Central College, who is a musician, educator and composer—but did you know he’s a painter as well? Dr. Hoover shares his passion for music and the arts with us this month.

Entrepreneurs must feel passion as well, and not just at the beginning of a new venture. For the long-term success of a business, that passion must be in line with commitment and it must be perpetuated over time. The owners of One World Café are local entrepreneurs who work hard and put in the long hours and can take pride in watching their business expand its services and locations. They have passion and they’re dreaming big. In this issue, read how these four men serve up a distinctive menu of food, art and culture.

The personal chef industry has grown in recent years to meet the frantic pace of today¹s families. What an opportunity for those whose passion and talent is in creating healthy meals that are, in fact, plates of art! You didn’t realize that the nationwide trend has come to central Illinois? Find out how personal chefs have become as important as the weekly cleaning service to some dual-income families.

Those reality TV shows with the before and after photographs showing clients who have undergone plastic surgery just might have made it easier to plan that consultation with a plastic surgeon. Board-certified facial and plastic surgeon Dr. Harrison Putman explains the variety of options and procedures available in central Illinois. His dedication to his craft prompted him to co-author a book about facial rejuvenation to educate those interested in maintaining their youthful looks or keeping their skin healthy.

This month we toured locally owned pizza parlors—some of our most prized regional destinations! Each parlor has its own twist: deep dish or super-thin, sauce or not, cut into pie-shapes or thin strips, sausage and pepperoni or spinach and goat cheese. I’ve stashed Butch’s frozen pizza in my freezer at home for years. When anyone asks what kind of pizza I prefer, I answer honestly: every kind.

While the people we’ve spoken to in this issue work in different industries, they all describe their work with enthusiasm and passion. Drop us a note and tell us who you believe should get more recognition for the work they do—whatever field they’re in. There is an element of art in everything. a&s