Nancy Novogrod

travel and leisure

It’s no secret (and I’m sure you’ve seen it on our Instagram) that food goes hand in hand with travel. That’s why we met up with Travel + Leisure’s Editor-in-Chief Nancy Novogrod, who’s been at the helm of the magazine for twenty years now, to discuss all things surrounding the jet-set. Novogrod is an expert when it comes to frequenting odd spots around the world, and has an introduction in Travel + Leisure’s new book – Travel + Leisure Where to Eat Around the World – which celebrates the undeniable tie between food and travel. See the interview below…

What would be your ideal food day? 

If in New York, I would have my standard breakfast – half an avocado with Maldon Sea Salt and top-quality imported olive oil (I’m on an eternal hunt for the best), a quarter of a pint of fresh blueberries, and cappuccino made with my new Nespresso machine. Lunch would be scrambled eggs with shaved parmesan at Sant Ambroeus on Madison Avenue, or if it’s a work day, at The Lambs Club. They make their own version of Nicoise salad and I love it. For dinner, I’d go to Il Buco Alimentari for Crispy Artichokes with Preserved Lemon and Bucatini Cacio e Pepe; as long as I’m overindulging there, I’d also have some of my husband’s Slow-Roasted Short Ribs.

Who were some of your mentors through your years in publishing? 

My first and most significant mentor was Rachel Mackenzie, a long-time fiction editor at The New Yorker. I was her assistant during my first job out of college, and Rachel taught me everything I know about writing a good letter and the basics of editing. My next mentor, Jane West, oversaw the Clarkson Potter division at Crown Publishers and showed me how to be a visual editor, and to work with images and text together. Jane died tragically early on in my time there, but she passed on to me the knowledge and opportunity to create the first square-format lifestyle books— High-Tech, French Style, and American Country—which have become an important genre in illustrated book publishing.

How has Travel + Leisure changed since you came on board twenty years ago? 

Travel + Leisure has changed along with the world. When I arrived in 1993, travel to China, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Brazil was considered somewhat pioneering. There wasn’t much talk about sustainability, social responsibility, or even authenticity. Staying at a renowned 5-star property in Europe and eating at a famous Michelin-starred restaurant was, for many people, a dream; now, it has more to do with exploration, experience, and local.

How do you discover new restaurants when you’re traveling around the world? What’s that process?

I ask my editors and correspondents. We have a great global network of people in the know.

If you could make a prediction about where personal travel is headed, what would it be?

Greater interest in luxury experiences in the wild; more active travel – walking and hiking brings you in closer touch with a destination; more interest in small and individualistic hotels and resorts

If you could give one piece of advice to those trying to perfect the hotel-restaurant what would it be?

Make it real—and make it refer to where you are. It can be a sophisticated play on regional styles and tastes, but it must have some connection to place.

What do you read besides Travel + Leisure

The New Yorker, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and the New York Review of Books

What are your personal top five favorite spots to travel to?

Southern Italy, Southeast Asia (including Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Bali), Shanghai, the Atacama Desert of Chile, and the American West (Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado).

Do you have a yearly go-to vacation spot? If so, where?

I adore Rome and often go to Positano on the Amalfi Coast.