From dishwasher to executive chef — the story behind 1500 South’s William Conroy
April 17, 2018
After school every Thursday and Friday, William Conroy got off the school bus and went to work at the Homestead Inn in Pennsylvania.
Then he did it again on Saturday nights, too.
He was 14 years old, and he worked as a dishwasher.
“It was crazy,” recalled Conroy, who was born and raised in Hopatcong, New Jersey. “I was a tiny little machine. I worked for this German chef and he used to scream at me.”
Nowadays, though, he’s commanding his own kitchen, cooking up pan-seared salmon with a citrus reduction and veggie-packed risotto; braised short rib with creamy, buttery grits; and a Southern-inspired panzanella salad with burrata, tomatoes, pickled onion, smoked avocado and croutons made from grits.
Conroy, 31, is the new executive chef at waterfront 1500 South at the Naples Bay Resort, a luxury AAA-rated 4 Diamond boutique-style resort. There, he’s created a menu inspired by Southern comfort food with an Italian flair.