Aliesha Mcgilligan


Press Release 20.10.2015

XCHC's café opened Tuesday, October 20th in partnership with Aliesha Mcgilligan, a passionate local chef.

“The café is a place for people to come and meet one another and share ideas.’ explains Camia Young, XCHC trustee.  ‘The concept for the café is to create large communal tables where people can enjoy affordable healthy food and meet other like minded people.’ There will be a fixed lunch menu changing daily served in a family style atmosphere.  ‘It is quite simple, creative ideas percolate around great food, so lets eat together!’ Camia says excitedly.

Aliesha has 14 years of experience working in hospitality throughout New Zealand. You may have seen her at the Christchurch Farmers Market, at Passengers & Co or at The Commons firing up the community pizza oven for trade on Sundays as Fresh Press Pizza. Today you will find her pouring over recipes from world-renowned chefs and creatively adapting them to work with local ingredients. Her passion for food comes from caring for the environment, she explains ‘there is a story behind every ingredient, I care about how it was created, who made it, and the energy embodied in each plate of food. I care about our environment, the choices we make every day and the impact that has on global culture. I believe in making healthy food affordable for everybody.’

‘Aliesha is the right fit for the café’ says Gerald Carter, the trustee behind getting the café open.‘Aliesha treats cooking like an everyday art, that is exactly what we wanted for the place.’The café is open Monday - Friday from 7:30am - 3:00pm with a fresh lunch of the day. The café is licensed and open for evening events. XCHC hosts weekly gatherings for the creative community ranging from film nights, pop-up restaurant, story time and open critiques for artists. Look out for the events coming soon. The XCHC venue is also available for hire to creative groups or individuals wanting to showcase their work.  

XCHC supports creative industries through the public exchange of ideas in an experimental and collaborative environment. XCHC's unique space has been embraced by Christchurch’s creative community at large with the XCHC already having hosted over 70 events to date and over 30 residents taking advantage of its inspirational environment. Every day is different as the residents and events held in the space come from a diverse range of disciplines and mediums, from visual artists, architects, designers, film-makers and every kind of innovator you can imagine in between.

‘This is just the beginning’ says Camia, we are looking to expand to a larger building and to open other versions of XCHC around New Zealand.