Nilou Motamed

Nilou Motamed is a globally recognized food, travel, and lifestyle authority, and has been named one of AdWeek’s 30 Most Influential People in Food. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine magazine, and is a recurring judge on Season 16 of Bravo’s Emmy Award–winning Top Chef.

Prior to Food & Wine, Nilou served as Editor-in-Chief of Condé Nast’s Epicurious; during her tenure the digital food brand saw unprecedented growth and record-setting site traffic. As the first-ever Director of Inspiration for Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Nilou reimagined the guest experience and concierge programs for 24 luxury properties around the globe. For 14 years Nilou was the Features Director & Senior Correspondent for Travel + Leisure magazine, overseeing the brand’s James Beard Award–winning restaurants coverage and its annual Food & Travel Issue.

In addition to her role on Top Chef, Nilou is a frequent guest on NBC’s Today, CBS This Morning, and CNN. She hosted the Travel Channel series Travel Spies and the restaurant review show Reservations Required. She is a regularly featured speaker at international travel and food conferences, and a longtime panelist for the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards.  

In 2017 Nilou co-founded Story Collective, a brand consultancy specializing in voice, strategy, and storytelling for the world’s top luxury hotels, restaurants, and destinations. 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.