NEW YORK – Nilou Motamed has been named the new Editor of Time Inc.’s Food & Wine, it was announced today by Norman Pearlstine, Chief Content Officer, Time Inc., and Evelyn Webster, Executive Vice President, Time Inc.
Motamed will oversee the editorial operations and content of one of the most influential media brands in the culinary world. Founded in 1978, Food & Wine reaches an audience of more than 12 million across print, digital, video, books, clubs and newsletters. In her role, Motamed will manage the brand’s tentpole franchises and partnerships, including the industry-changing Best New Chefs and millennial food site FWx. Working closely with Publisher Christina Grdovic, she will help guide Food & Wine’s TV partnerships, including Bravo’s Top Chef, and the brand’s extensive event series, anchored by the celebrated Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.
Motamed is a globally recognized food, travel and lifestyle authority who has served as Editor-in-Chief of Epicurious, Director of Inspiration at Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Features Director & Senior Correspondent for Travel + Leisure. At Epicurious, she oversaw a top-to-bottom rebranding and redesign of the award-winning food website, and during her tenure the brand achieved unprecedented growth and record-setting traffic. In addition to being a familiar personality on morning TV, she has served as the host of several television series. She begins March 14.
“We’re delighted to bring Nilou’s dynamic energy and modern editorial sensibility to Time Inc.,” said Webster. “With her impeccable taste, deep understanding of digital, video and television and appreciation for working closely with sales and marketing to offer creative solutions to our partners, we expect Food & Wine to flourish and continue its amazing success and growth.”
“Nilou lives and breathes the Food & Wine lifestyle,” said Pearlstine. “She is incredibly well connected with chefs, restaurateurs and leaders throughout the culinary and travel worlds, and her passion for food and travel shines through in absolutely everything she does.”
Prior to joining Epicurious, Motamed was the Features Director & Senior Correspondent for Travel + Leisure, where she covered hotels, culture, design and trends in the world of luxury travel. She shaped Travel + Leisure’s restaurants coverage and was the creator and driving force behind the brand’s annual Food & Travel Issue. During her tenure, the brand earned eight James Beard Foundation Journalism Award nominations. In collaboration with CNN, she created Travel + Leisure’s “Eat Like a Local” special—combining print, digital, social and broadcast in a world-spanning food platform. She is a longtime regional panelist for the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards.
Born in Iran and raised in Paris and New York, Motamed lives in Brooklyn with her husband. She is a graduate of Binghamton University, attended the Sorbonne in Paris and is fluent in four languages.
“I’m thrilled to be joining such a storied and pioneering brand,” said Motamed. “Food & Wine has been a groundbreaker for nearly 40 years, and its mission has never been more relevant than it is today. I look forward to working with the talented F&W team and building on the brand’s remarkable legacy, as we continue to inspire and inform our devoted audience and engage a new generation of food and wine lovers.”
Motamed assumes the role most recently held by Dana Cowin, who is now the Chief Creative Officer of Chefs Club International, with whom Food & Wine has an ongoing strategic partnership. Chefs Club International is the holding company of two restaurants in New York City and Aspen, called Chefs Club by Food & Wine, which feature dishes created by Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs, as well as recipes straight from the pages of the magazine.
Food & Wine is experiencing across-the-board growth and has been expanding digitally, launching the millennial food site FWx in 2014 and re-launching foodandwine.com last year with a dynamic, best-in-class recipe tool and modern design. Online traffic has shown consistent increases, having reached 7.1 million unique visitors in December, up 11 percent year over year (comScore December 2015), and 5.8 million total unique visitors in January, up 5 percent year over year (comScore January 2016). Total brand audience is up 8.3 percent year over year (December 2015, Magazine Media 360), and social media is also growing, now topping 7.6 million fans.