Desiree Robinson: Restaurant Owner Is The First African American Woman To Be Inducted Into The Barbecue Hall Of Fame

by Gee NY
Desiree Robinson

Desiree Robinson, an 85-year-old African American entrepreneur from Memphis, Tennessee, has etched her name in history as the first woman to be honored with induction into the prestigious Barbecue Hall of Fame.

As the proud owner and pitmaster of Cozy Corner, a renowned barbecue establishment renowned for its delectable smoked meats, Robinson has been serving her community with culinary excellence for over 45 years.

In 1977, Robinson and her late husband, Raymond, joined forces to establish Cozy Corner. Together, they laid the foundation for a culinary legacy that Robinson continued to uphold after her husband’s passing in 2001.

Acknowledging her husband’s exceptional talent and dedication, Robinson humbly attributes much of the restaurant’s success to his culinary prowess and warm rapport with customers.

“My husband was an extraordinary cook, and while I do my best, I’ll never match his skill. It all started with him. He built this for us,” remarked Robinson in an interview with Fox 13 Memphis.

Robinson’s unwavering commitment to maintaining the restaurant’s culinary standards earned her a well-deserved place in the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2020.

Notably, her induction not only marked her as the first Black woman to receive this honor but also the first living Black recipient, as three other Black men were posthumously recognized.

Reflecting on her achievement, Robinson expressed profound gratitude, emphasizing the blessings bestowed upon her and her family.

Over the years, her children have played an integral role in fostering a welcoming atmosphere at Cozy Corner, with fond memories of their early years spent napping in the restaurant’s back rooms and growing up alongside the business, contributing in various capacities as they matured.

“I’m truly blessed. I have an amazing family, four generations strong. We work together harmoniously, and I thank God for that,” shared Robinson, radiating pride in her family’s enduring legacy of culinary excellence and community engagement.

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