Ted Yoakum

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Ted Yoakum is a community editor at Leader Publications, LLC, and contributes to Michiana Life magazine.

Posts by Ted Yoakum 11 results

Living like Proos: Senator’s home fit for family

As a state senator representing more than a quarter million southwest Michigan residents, John Proos’ commitments at the capitol in Lansing and across his tri-country district keep him on his toes. His responsibilities are far from over once he pulls his car into the parking lot of his two-story home in St. Joseph, though. On a warm, sunny Saturday in early May, John and his wife Kristy spent the morning busily tackling the usual early morning tasks — making a pot of fresh coffee, ...

In the Kitchen: Conway’s a popular breakfast, lunch destination in Three Oaks

Situated on a quiet street in Three Oaks’ downtown, visitors to the Harbor Country community can often find the inside of the small, white farmhouse-looking building packed to the gills on weekends, with lines sometimes extending out the doors. The coffee shop known as Conway’s has established itself as a spot for locals and visitors to Three Oaks alike to gather for breakfast and lunch — and not just for the restaurant’s freshly roasted coffee or its selection of dishes from across ...

Mason Jar Cafe a hot spot in Benton Harbor Arts District

Be it a plate of bright, runny eggs or a tall, juicy hamburger, at the heart of every single dish that comes from the tiny, open kitchen in Benton Harbor’s Mason Jar Café lies a common strand of DNA: simple, healthy, locally sourced ingredients. “We always know where our products are coming from,” said restaurant co-owner and head chef Abel Martinez. It was this philosophy that led Abel and his wife, Jayme Cousins, to finally exchange their titles of “employees” for “restaurate...

Silver Beach Pizza expansion a hit with customers

A kaleidoscope of glass, metal and leather, the latest addition to one of Michiana’s most popular pizza destinations more closely resembles a modern microbrewery than the classic atmosphere of the former train depot down below. A closer look at the schooner-shaped insignias carved out of the back of the chairs surrounding the bar and the unique light fixtures — also shaped like the trademark beer glass — surrounding the upper balcony dining room reveals that, despite the updated looks, ...

Homegrown: Olfactory Hue Bistro owner brings culinary expertise back to her roots

From cooking for hundreds of concertgoers in tailgate parties all over the country to working as the head chef of one of the country’s premier gastropubs, Daysha Amster’s path to success in the culinary world has taken her all over the country. Despite all her travels, Daysha’s eventual destination turned out to be right where she started — the City of Four Flags. In May, the chef will be celebrating the four-year anniversary of opening her very first restaurant, Olfactory Hue Bistro. ...

Small plates, big taste

GRANGER, Ind. — Five years ago, Michiana chef extraordinaire Sean Kelley accomplished a goal that many dream of the first moment they fall in love with food — opening his own restaurant. Moving into the former home of Wine Down Bistro in Granger’s City Plaza shopping center in 2010, Kelley’s new venture, Temper Grille, featured a menu unique to the area, with dishes sprinkled with the chef’s fiery tastes and attitude. While the food was all his own, the chef owner felt that, despite ...

A new way to brunch

The buzzing electronic jingles of thousands of different slot machines. The jangling of small metal tokens from the jugs of change carried by the men and women walking around the building. The sounds of banter between people seated at the blackjack table. As anyone who has visited the New Buffalo establishment could tell you, the bright lights and excitement that occurs each and every day on the floor of the Four Winds Casino can hardly be described as quiet and unassuming. Situated near ...

Dining at its finest

As the sign welcoming visitors to its city limits reads, the community of South Bend is, “Building a 21st Century city.” Once a powerhouse of industry, the Indiana city has reinvented its economy over the last decade, on the backs of new and inventive businesses focused on services, technology, entertainment and, of course, great dining. Located in the heart of downtown inside one of the district’s oldest buildings, LaSalle Grill has been a constant during this period of renaissance for ...

A taste of Italy

NEW BUFFALO — With its rustic yellow-brick exterior, luscious foliage and spacious outdoor patio, Brewster’s Italian Café would fit right in the heart of Italy. Thankfully for local foodies, the restaurant is located just off the shore of Lake Michigan in downtown New Buffalo. For the past 22 years, the family-owned Italian eatery has been a hit with locals and tourists alike. Whether it is because of its oven fired pizzas or its dedicated service, customers have made Brewster’s one of ...

Rocky River offers ‘farm-to-fork’ experience

GRANGER, Ind. — From the minimalist wooden décor to the very name of the restaurant itself, nearly every aspect of Granger’s Rocky River Tap & Table is a reflection of the core values of its conception: freshness and simplicity. Despite having only been open since July, the American-style bistro is already developing a reputation among area diners for a “farm-to-fork” approach to its menu, incorporating locally sourced ingredients in nearly every dish. The restaurant has deals ...