Sommelier Julian Mayor of Bourbon Steak - Biography

Washington, DC

September 2011

Julian Mayor is a self-termed “Foreign Policy wonk turned Cook and Sommelier.” A graduate of Boston University who majored in International Relations and Latin American Studies, he originally headed to the nation’s capital to pursue a career in foreign policy. While organizing official government events, he realized that his true passion lay in exploring and understanding fine food and wine. He traveled France and Mexico on a culinary expedition, which further cemented his desire to enter the restaurant industry and eventually led to the decision to trade in his dark suits for chef whites.

In 2003, Mayor enrolled at the French Culinary Institute in New York, where he studied classical French cuisine by night and interned in the cellars of the renowned Balthazaar brasserie by day. While at FCI, Mayor developed a keen interest in learning the nuances of pairing food and wine and volunteered at classes led by the Institute’s Dean of Wine Studies, Andrea Immer Robinson.

Upon graduation in 2004, Mayor managed French restaurants in New Jersey and Maryland. In 2008, he joined the opening team at Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak, Washington, DC, as a sommelier. He has been an integral part of the exceptional wine and beverage program at the fine-dining restaurant since its inception, always relying on careful research. He is also wine director of the Four Seasons Hotel. He is active on social media, and participated in the hotel’s Wine Tasting Tweet-up in November 2010. Mayor is careful to keep his pairings accessible, offering 4-ounce pours to ensure that a wide array of clients get a taste of his pairing skills.