Meet Townsend Harris’ Insta-Famous Food Bloggers: Mike and Alexandra Chau, Class of 2001

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“One of the great things about @foodbabyny [is that] it brings so many people a smile on a daily basis,” says the man behind the page.

Garnering over 306,000 followers in the last four years, this famous page by two Townsend Harris alumni combines Instagram’s biggest loves: food and babies. Featuring mouth-watering desserts and scrumptious meals, @foodbabyny posts frequent updates on restaurants and food festivals littering the nooks and crannies of New York City. However, accompanying every post, self-proclaimed Food Babies Matty and Sammy join in on the fun and are often seen sleeping or gazing longingly next to each new treat.

But behind the camera are the parents behind the account, both of whom hail from the home of the Hawks. Mike and Alexandra Chau, class of 2001, were high school sweethearts. “Our first date was SING! on January 27, 2001,” Alex said. “It was a Saturday night. We shared a Sunkist soda, which is how I knew we’d be married and together forever.”

They continued their relationship in college, where Mike attended Boston University, gaining a background in software development. Although Alex attended Northeastern University, she later transferred to Boston University in her sophomore year. There, she majored in business with a concentration in finance.

“Go to college and get a real degree,” Alex said, in case any current students consider trying their luck at social media stardom. “Study a real major. iPhones and Instagram could be gone tomorrow. Have a real paying job while you follow your passion. Being unemployed is not cute. Being broke is not cool. We are able to do @foodbabyny because we have real serious jobs paying the mortgage while we follow our passion.”

The food blog originally started out as a hobby. “I felt compelled to share all of this great stuff since family and friends always asked for recommendations,” says Mike. While he previously posted some Yelp reviews and countless baby photos, he said he “realized it made the food a lot more fun to look at with [my baby] making a cute face in the corner, so [he] started posting photos in that style.”

Four months after its debut on June 2014 @foodbabyny began to gain attention from other food blogs, which was when “the account really started to grow faster and [they] knew then that it was becoming a popular thing.” Recently the family made an appearance on the Rachael Ray morning show. They have also been featured on several food segments on ABC 7.

One of the many perks to being popular food bloggers are the people they get to meet, Mike said: “My favorite places to go are small businesses and family-run places, and getting the opportunity to meet the people running them because it makes the whole experience more meaningful and interesting and turns it into more than just taking a picture of a random piece of food.”

“My favorite part of it all is getting to spend time with the love of my life and the little creatures we made together,” Alex said. “And I get to eat carbs. A lot of carbs. Carbs on carbs.”

As for what to expect next from the soon-to-be family of five, the Chaus are simply taking it in stride, said Alex. “We want to continue to travel and show our children the world. We want to continue eating well and meeting new people. Maybe one day you’ll turn on E! and see Keeping Up With The Chaus!”

Mike added, “that’s a question I get every single time and my joke answer is that I will make Alex have a baby every 2 years for the next 20 years. My real answer is that I have no idea. Part of the fun of the account for both myself and I think the audience is that it changes literally every day and new faces and things and personalities develop before our eyes.”

The next time that you go looking for a spot for some Instagram-worthy food, Alex suggests “Nick’s Pizza, Snowdays, Dani’s House of Pizza, Spot Dessert Bar, and White Noise Coffee Co.”

“Some of the best and most unique ice cream flavors are right over on Main Street at Max & Mina’s, a really fun place that’s a must visit for dessert,” Mike said.

Reflecting back on her high school experience Alex says “I miss being in a community of smart intellectuals every day […] I learned that I can do a two mile run without stopping. I learned that the Required Exercise Series means nothing to no one. I learned that a referral is more terrifying than prison. I learned that Townsend Harris is the best dating app in the world.”

The Chaus both agree that The Ephebic Oath is one of the major lessons learned after graduating, stating, “we still always believe in leaving things greater than we’ve found them and trying to do good and bring happiness to others.”

You can follow the Chaus’ on all their food adventures on Instagram @foodbabyny. Make sure to also check out the Food Baby NY Food Fest, next Sunday, October 21st at the intersection of Essex and Hester Street from 11am-7pm. Watch out for the third Food Baby and its Instagram debut coming soon.