Rising Star Sommelier Bobby Conroy of Benu - Biography

San Francisco, CA

May 2013

Baltimore born Bobby Conroy began his career in hospitality as a server and then captain in his home town and Washington D.C. Inspired by a colleague, he began taking interest in wine and later passed his Court of Master Sommelier Introductory Exam in 2009. He quickly joined the opening team of Jean Georges J & G Steakhouse at the W Hotel in D.C. and began stretching his sommelier wings.

In 2010, Conroy became restaurant manager and assistant sommelier at Plume Restaurant at the Jefferson Hotel, gaining additional responsibilities and experience, while helping the restaurant earn a Mobil Four Star and AAA Four Diamond.

Wanting to expand his culinary viewpoint and further his wine knowledge, Conroy left Plume in June 2011 to join Master Sommelier Yoon Ha, a 2009 StarChefs.com Napa-Sonoma Rising Star, at Benu in San Francisco. In this position Conroy pushes to adapt his pairings to the complicated cuisine of Chef Corey Lee. A few months after Conroy landed on the West Coast he earned his Advanced Sommelier certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers, and he’s currently training for the Master Sommelier exam.

Along with his Rising Stars award, Conroy’s accolades include Wine & Spirits “Best New Sommeliers” of 2012 and a runner-up finish in the Chaine des Rotisseurs Young Sommelier Competition of 2012. Never one to turn down a challenge, Conroy will compete in this year’s Guild of Sommeliers Competition, where he previously placed first in the Western region, for the title of “Top Somm.”