When Charlie Robinson was growing up on the Mississippi Delta, he learned the secrets of his family recipe by watching his grandfather barbecue for their family and friends. Then in 1982, when Mike Royko, a Chicago newspaper columnist, declared a barbecue rib challenge, boasting that his ribs were the best anywhere, Charlie entered. A panel of judges wasted little time in declaring Charlie's ribs the "Number 1 Ribs" in Chicagoland. In 1983 he opened Robinson's No. 1 Ribs.