Nilou Motamed has been shaping the conversation in food and travel for more than 20 years.
She is currently a judge on Season 16 of Bravo’s award-winning series Top Chef, and has been named one of AdWeek’s 30 Most Influential People in Food.Nilou most recently served as Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine, one of the world’s leading culinary media brands, with an audience of more than 13 million.Prior to Food & Wine, Nilou was the first-ever Director of Inspiration for Conrad Hotels & Resorts, where she reimagined the guest experience and concierge programs for 24 luxury properties around the globe. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Condé Nast’s Epicurious. During her tenure, the digital food brand saw record-setting site traffic and unprecedented growth. As the longtime Features Director & Senior Correspondent for Travel + Leisure, Nilou oversaw the magazine’s coverage of restaurants, hotels, shopping, culture, and trends in luxury travel. Under her watch, T+L was nominated for eight James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards. In addition to her featured role on Top Chef, Nilou is a frequent guest on national television, including NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning. She hosted the Travel Channel’s series Travel Spies and the restaurant review show Reservations Required. In 2017 Nilou leveraged her global network and expertise in food and travel to co-found Story Collective, a consultancy specializing in brand voice, strategy, and storytelling for the world’s top luxury hotels, restaurants, and destinations. Nilou is a regularly featured speaker at international travel and food conferences, and a longstanding panelist for the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards. Born in Iran, raised in Paris and New York, Nilou attended Binghamton University and the Sorbonne, and is fluent in four languages. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, writer Peter Jon Lindberg.