BREMEN — Randy Ziolkowski is a down-to-earth, self-taught chef. Although he doesn’t encourage being called a chef, he has proven he is just that. At his restaurant, Edward Christian Barbecue, 115 W. Plymouth St., Ziolkowski makes his 13 sauces all naturally, from scratch, as well as his rubs and seasonings. His product line will be available in the restaurant and online around Thanksgiving time.
Ziolkowski’s business has been a part of the Bremen community for years. He spent 22 months remodeling the restaurant location and opened as Five Feathers. A change brought the restaurant to a new name, Edward Christian Dining, and made it a family dining experience.
When asked about the beautiful restaurant being a family place, he answered, “This is not fine dining, it’s just really good food for everyone.”
Ziolkowski realized he had a wide variety of dishes on his menu and decided to become more focused. The restaurant serves authentic barbecue and Cajun food. His meat is prepared with his rubs and seasonings, smoked in the smokers for 14 hours, and served that way so you can choose what sauces you want to enjoy.
This restaurant is the home for Ziolkowski to make his creations; however, the location is not where Randy and Edward Christian Barbecue do most of their business. Eighty percent of the business is on the road with the smokers, grills, and the red truck to pull the delicious “authentic smoked goodness” to fundraisers, golf outings, corporate events, and more.
Edward Christian Bar-becue has also been to Friday night football games throughout the area this season. Their fundraising program allows schools or organizations to sell a meal of a meat and two sides for $10. Edward Christian provides the tickets, containers, napkins, cutlery, and the staff for boxing and cleaning.
No money is needed ahead of time, and Ziolkowski writes a check to the school or organization before they leave the event based on the number of sales. Right now, there is a school competition where the school that sells the most meals will get more even money to their cause.
Edward Christian was recently selected for the first-ever Northern Indiana Foodie Trail. This honor was awarded by the Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission in partnership with Midwest Living magazine. The partnership chose 28 non-chain restaurants from seven counties in Northern Indiana to celebrate the different flavors of the region. These restaurants are featured in a guide booklet with a map and contact information. The guide can be downloaded on the NITDC website http://www.NorthernIndianaGetaways.com .
When asked about this honor, Ziolkowski was surprised. “I didn’t really know about it,” he responded, “but I am happy we were chosen.”
You can also see Ziolkowski on television. His cooking show, Comfortable Cooking with Randy Z, is a half-hour cooking show aired Mondays on WHME Channel 46. This show is filmed in the Edward Christian kitchen. It focuses on everyone getting comfortable in the kitchen. Ziolkowski has received positive comments both from those watching, learning, and now having fun in the kitchen with their children and from other chefs who praise him for explaining their kitchen tricks to his audience.
Edward Christian Barbecue, 115 W. Plymouth St., is open for dinner Thursday through Saturday 5 to 9 p.m. For more information on Edward Christian Barbecue’s catering, fundraising, menu, and more, visit the website at http://www.edwardchristianbarbecue.com .