2 July 2018
Monique Brown started her Instagram account Christchurch Foodie last year after moving to New Zealand from Melbourne, where her love of food was born. We find out a bit more about the social media influencer who spends a significant amount of her life talking about, dreaming about, photographing and eating food.
How did Christchurch Foodie come about?
I was looking for inspiration on places to eat on Instagram as that is what I would do when I lived in Melbourne. There wasn’t really anyone showcasing the food scene in Christchurch on social media, so I thought I would get out there and do it! My Instagram account was originally called @moniquesfooddiary but I wanted to make a difference with my account, so I switched it. There are so many amazing eateries and food suppliers [in Christchurch] and I want to showcase them.
Have you noticed any changes in the local food scene since then?
Since I started Christchurch Foodie there has been a lot of foodie Instagram profiles pop up and I have seen a real shift in the food culture in Christchurch. People are sharing their food more and they want to eat out and talk about food. It makes me so happy to see people enjoying food.
What’s the plan now with your new brand ‘Christchurch Insider’?
Over the past year and a bit people have really got to know me as a person and Instagram stories have allowed me to showcase other content that it is not just food. I recently asked my audience what they would like to see, and they asked for more recommendations on where I go for beauty treatments, what I do in my spare time, what events are on, etc. So I am going to focus on this to ensure I continue to evolve and give my audience what they want. If I can give advice on where to buy a bargain piece of furniture for their home or where I go to get my hair done I will.
What do you do for work by day?
I am a Social Media Specialist and have recently started my own business called Zabi Social Media. I help businesses with social media strategy and management. Christchurch Foodie is a great platform for me to get real life insights on the ever-changing world of social media, so I can keep my finger on the pulse and provide the most up to date and relevant information for my clients. I recently got an office space in the city and it is so great to be in the city as it continues to evolve and change everyday. I am loving it!
Where do you live in Christchurch and what do you like about living in your part of town?
We recently built a home in Wigram and we are really enjoying it. It’s close to the city, close to the Port Hills and the bays and close to the highways and the airport if we are heading away. It is such a nice community with plenty of parks to take our dog for a walk.
What do you think are our city and region’s best attributes?
The Peninsula is full of amazing things to do. Whether heading up to the Port Hills to watch the sunrise or sunset, go for a walk, head to one of the stunning bays for a swim or star gaze. We spend almost every weekend somewhere in this area and we still have so much more to explore. The food scene also continues to grow and evolve. If there is a consumer demand for a type of cuisine or diet, someone will see this demand and start an eatery. For example, just looking at vegan food in Christchurch a couple of years ago [compared to] now is incredible. We need to celebrate the fact that there are options for everyone no matter what your choices or dietary requirements are.
What are your favourite things to do here in your spare time?
Eat food mainly! We love heading to the Christchurch farmers’ markets, eating out and buying local produce to create food at home. Every Sunday we go for a new walk or hike in the region. Watching the sunrise or sunset on the Port Hills, star gazing and day trips around the region. Some of our favourite walks are Washpen Falls, Orton Bradley Park and Godley Head.
What is your favourite place to grab a bite to eat in the city?
There are so many places I love so it is hard to pick just one. But if I had to, Uncommon is my all-time fave café! Their ‘Fungi on Toast’ is absolutely delish, but the menu is always changing so it gives me a good excuse to keep going back.
What is your favourite spot to grab a drink with friends?
Again, so many places but a regular we go to is Universo however we are starting to check out the new places on The Terrace. It’s so exciting to see all the new places opening around the city.
What do you like about living in this city/region overall?
Have I mentioned the food? The weather is good most of the time – you just can’t beat a clear blue sky Canterbury day. Christchurch is such a great hub to awesome places. We love to explore and it is so easy with our amazing backyard!