Robert Jones joined Kysela Père et Fils, an importer of beer, wine, spirits, and saké, in June 2001, after nearly 15 years of working with wine in restaurants, hotels and private clubs. Before that, he worked in locations all along the East Coast, including Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts; Roanoke and Richmond, Virginia; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Atlanta, Georgia.
Under Robert's tenure as the sommelier and assistant front-of-house manager for The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead in Atlanta (1996-1999), the restaurant earned the Mobil 5-Star award, becoming one of 14 restaurants in the country to achieve that distinction. In October 1999, Robert passed the service and blind-tasting components of the Master Sommelier exam, and in March 2001 he passed the theoretical component of the exam, becoming the 50th person in the country to hold that rank. Today there are around 210 Master Sommeliers worldwide, and 135 in the USA.
Robert enjoys all types and styles of alcohol; saké is his newest interest. He has completed the Advanced Saké Professional course offered by saké expert John Gauntner, and visited Japan in 2014 as part of the course.
Robert is a married to the chef and caterer who once interviewed him for a job at Martha's Vineyard in 1994. He has a son, a daughter, and a dog. He enjoys traveling, cooking, tending to his garden, hiking the mountains of southwest Virginia, bicycling around the lake in his neighborhood, and driving twisty back roads in his Mazdaspeed3.
Anime Convention Guest Appearances
- Naka-Kon 2015 - March 13-15, 2015 in Overland Park, KS