Detroit BBQ Co. owner Tim Idzikowski has died, celebration of life planned in Corktown

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Tim Idzikowski is being remembered by many in the local restaurant and event communities this week as a generous and talented chef who was influential and outspoken. 

The owner of the Ferndale-based Detroit BBQ Co., Idzikowski died Thursday at age 36. 

"The outpouring of support we’ve all received has been overwhelming. Many of them stories we’d never heard or reminders of all the wonderfully generous things he did for people," wrote Idzikowski's wife, Tracey Kane, on the business' Facebook page. 

Tim Idzikowski  of the Detroit BBQ company slices up brisket in the Pride Plaza before a Detroit Lions game at Ford Field on Sept. 8, 2013

"In our grief, we’ve been able to have a laugh or two, because Tim had such a larger than life personality and was just hilariously funny. It’s hard to say what I’ll miss most about him, but those beautiful eyes, his giant hugs, his sense of humor, and his selflessness are right at the top of the list."

A Celebration of Life event is planned for Wednesday at Batch Brewing Co. in Corktown at 1400 Porter. The gathering starts at 3 p.m. and the Detroit BBQ Co. staff will provide food. Kane asks that donations in Idzikowski's memory be made to Detroit Dog Rescue or Focus: HOPE. 

"Tomorrow, we’ll be honoring Tim at Batch Brewing Company by sharing stories and barbecue, laughing, hugging, and partaking together, for a moment, in this fleeting life," said Batch founder Stephen Roginson. "Bring your party pants and maybe some Kleenex."

Roginson said Idzikowski was always the first person to reach out to him to offer support or help out when he needed him. 

"He was a casual teacher, a hard worker, and brutally honest, with zero threshold for BS," Roginson told The Detroit News. "His passing underlines for me that our work is never really done, and that there isn’t a finish line. There’s just what we leave behind for the people we care about, and he left a tremendous amount for me."

Detroit BBQ Co. provides catering and has a food trailer. Known for beef brisket, ribs, pulled pork and burnt ends, Idzikowski founded the business with his brother in 2009. According to the website, Detroit BBQ Co. started with the brothers and their friend selling ribs and chicken at a local farmers market "mostly for extra beer money on the weekends." 

More of Idzikowski's friends and colleagues took to social media this week to highlight his generous nature. 

"Tim was a true character and pillar in the community," reads a post from the Pig & Whiskey Facebook page. The barbecue and music festival takes place each year in downtown Ferndale. "Like most things in his life, nobody took BBQ more seriously, or had more fun doing it, than Tim. At every Pig and Whiskey since we began, nobody had a longer line of awaiting customers, or a greater number of satisfied customers. Tim was the real deal." 

Andy Didorosi of the Detroit Bus Co. called Idzikowski an "enormously generous human and skillful chef."

"I don’t think he let me pay for a meal at his trailer once," Didorosi wrote. "One of his first catering gigs ever was for our volunteer dinner at Thunderdrome. I’m not being coy when I say it is still the best BBQ I’ve ever laid hands on nationwide."

Twitter: @melodybaetens