Technical Committee

Commitee Chair

Brian K JULYAN MS, Commitee Chair

Bailliage of Great Britain
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Grand Officier Maître Sommelier, Bailliage of Great Britain
Brian is President of the Court of Master Sommeliers. He gained his Master Sommelier qualification in 1972 after which he proposed the formation of the Court which was ultimately established in 1977. An educational organisation offering four levels of examinations culminating in the highest that of Master Sommelier, the Court’s aim is to encourage improved standards of beverage service by sommeliers, particularly in wine and food pairing.

A professional consultant and educator, Brian has worked in all areas of the hospitality industry as well as being a chief examiner / judge for a multitude of food and beverage programmes and competitions. Author of three books (the latest is Sales and Service for the Wine Professional), his professional career concluded as a Government Inspector for Colleges and Universities until his retirement as Head of the Hospitality Management Degree programmes with the University of Plymouth ... plus 14 years as Cellar Master / Event Consultant for Lord and Lady Clifford of Chudleigh.

Brian now devotes much of his time to encouraging and assisting candidates preparing for the Court's Master Sommelier examinations by providing tutorials and tastings.

Dominique CROMBÉ

Dominique CROMBÉ

Bailliage of Belgium
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Dominique’s great-grandfather started a wine business in 1894 which her grandfather then her father took over. Her two brothers joined the business in 1985 and Dominique started working with them in 1992. So, she grew up in the wine business and loved it! Today she still runs the wine shop enthusiastically giving wine and food pairing advice.

Because of her passion for wine, 20 years ago Dominique started giving wine lessons to friends. This grew into many concepts of wine education: tastings for example which she designed herself as well as teaching about wine in evening classes.

Three years ago, Dominique developed a concept of wine education online ( This was in the form of a box of six bottles of wine with a film documentary and a syllabus covering the six wines.

Dominique said “Making the documentary by travelling through France with a film crew documenting wine was a marvellous experience that I was fortunate to have.”

From the Flemish Wine Institute (EVW - Eigentijds Vlaams Wijninstituut now part of Syntra Weste), Dominique obtained a ‘Sommelier’ diploma in 1992 followed by a ‘Winemaster’ accreditation in 2010.



Bailliage of United States of America
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A veteran of the wine and hospitality industry, George Staikos is known for his role as an educator, sharing his passion for wine appreciation.

Founder and President of The Educated Grape, a company specialising in interactive education programmes for wine enthusiasts and sales and marketing consulting for small, family-owned luxury wineries.

A Professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s International School of Hospitality Management, George teaches the “Introduction to the Study of Wine” course.

George graduated from Florida International University in Miami with a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management. He is married with three children, has a granddaughter and resides in Erwinna, Pennsylvania, an hour outside of Philadelphia.

He has held national sales positions for Napa and Sonoma wineries including Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Quintessa and Ramey Wine Cellars. His national hospitality experience encompassed food and beverage positions such as Sommelier and Food and Beverage Director. Ranging from California, Miami, Washington DC, and New York, operating three AAA Five Diamond rated hotels for industry leaders such as Four Seasons and Hilton.

An active member of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs since 2003, George has served as Vice-Échanson, Échanson Provincial of Mid-Atlantic and Bailli of the Bailliage of Garden State in New Jersey. He has now been promoted to “Grand Échanson des États-Unis” - given his prominent track record in the wine and hospitality industries he was an obvious choice to fulfil the role.



Bailliage of Australia
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John is a native of Australian wine producing area, the Hunter Valley, home to the magnificent Hunter Shiraz and the marvellous Semillon wines.

His interest in wine and service was brought into focus in the early 1970s. Firstly by a wine maker who made him promise that any wine he bought for cellaring would come from established houses as ‘they have a track record’.

Secondly by a Sommelier who deduced that the vintage Champagne served at a meal was not totally flat when it was served in fine lead crystal glasses. As John observed, “The sight of fine bubbles coming from a hitherto apparently lifeless wine was a revelation. This Sommelier’s expert knowledge was what service is all about.”

Other than food, cooking and hospitality, John has an interest in Roman (west and aast) history, the American War of Independence, classical music and Napoleon Bonaparte, the interest in the latter being that he facilitated reforms of the French wine industry.

A political scientist by education, John worked almost exclusively in the scientific field. He regards his exposure to and interaction with the brightest and the best over the decades as a privilege.

Christina SUOMINEN

Christina SUOMINEN

Bailliage of Finland
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Back in 1996 Christina gained her first wine qualification at the Château Loudenne École du Vin … the rest is history.

Since 2007 she has owned her own wine consultancy company, she also loves lecturing about wine. From 2005-2014 she was a specialist lecturer in wine and the wine trade at the Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), Turku Vocational Institute and Haaga-Perho Restaurant and Hotel Management school.

Christina has a long history of winning awards in both Finland and the Nordic countries. From 2002 she has been a judge in Finland’s Best Sommelier competition. Keenly involved with the Finnish Sommelier Association since 1995, Christina was President from 2000-2006.

Her career portfolio covers a wealth of experience gained in a range of hotels and wine organisations. Within the Tampere-based Armas Catering group Christina owns Restaurant Suomalainen Klubi, Arthouse Cafe as well as the event catering business. Also in Tampere is her fine dining Restaurant C.

Christina loves to cook, read cookery books, collect recipes, work in her garden, travel to wine countries and of course drink wine. She is fluent in Swedish (her mother tongue), Finnish and English.