For the third year in a row, Innovation Origins has organised the annual Expat Top-10. Over the past years, Eindhoven has welcomed thousands of internationals, many of whom have done a great job for the city. Through this top-10 we say Thank You to all of them. This year’s theme of the Top-10 is ‘Jobs and Entrepreneurship’. Every day we offer you an interview with one of the winners. In this interview, you can read about how they ended up in Eindhoven, what they are doing in and for the city, and how they get around in their new community. Today: Ailén Gamberoni. Here’s the whole series. 

“This is a Brainpower City that creates the future”

In Eindhoven since: 2016
Country of origin: Italy
Do you speak Dutch with your neighbours? No, unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of free time to study. Mostly I can understand, but I still cannot speak. Sorry!

Hardly a month after arriving in Eindhoven, Ailén Gamberoni already had her own business in the city: Cucina Italiana. With this initiative, she wants to introduce people to the Italian kitchen, but also offer a place to meet and talk.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE WITHIN THE EINDHOVEN COMMUNITY?

“I’m a networker, I always have been. I love to introduce friends to friends, professionals to professionals. In my studio, I do not simply offer dinners or workshops, but real experiences: a cozy place where one can feel at home, share moments of aggregation between Dutch citizens and expats, Italian-kitchen-culture lovers – moments during which people can chat about history, culture, well-being, traditions and innovation with our chef.”

WHAT, ACCORDING TO YOU, MAKES EINDHOVEN AN ATTRACTIVE PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK IN? WHAT COULD BE BETTER?

“This is a city where I feel at home, the atmosphere is always relaxed, people are happy and gentle, it is big but not too big, the balance between green areas and new buildings is perfect. It is a city that creates the future. A city bursting with energy, brainpower, work-ethic and fun. There is a constant flow of new developments in the fields of creativity, innovation, technology, design, and knowledge. This is a city full of beauty, but it must be discovered: if you are not curious you will not find it. Eindhoven must work more into the communication: it’s not simple – sometimes also for me – to be updated about all the nice events running around. For me, the biggest challenge is to create more networking areas: people sometimes are disoriented, we need more city guides to show the sometimes hidden beauty of our city. Expats need homely places where they could socialize more. We also need better services that are tailor-made for expats around catering, but also hairdressers, beautician, International Schools and so on.”

TECH COMPANIES IN AND AROUND EINDHOVEN HAVE A HUGE SHORTAGE OF EMPLOYEES. WHAT COULD THEY DO TO ATTRACT MORE TECHNICIANS FROM ITALY?

“The Netherlands has come out on top when it comes to work-life balance. Work-life balance refers to the amount of time spent on working and the time spent on leisure activities as well as personal care. That is according to the latest OECD Better Life Index, which ranks countries on how households successfully mix work, family commitments, and personal life, among other factors. Also: we are in the Brabant area, that I call ‘the Mediterranean’ area of the Netherlands, more warm, open and better atmosphere.”

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO START YOUR BUSINESS IN EINDHOVEN?

“For me – also compared to Italy – it was simple, quick and easy: this is a  city full of high-profile cultural challenges, where a general interest towards anything “cuisine-ey” – but especially towards the Italian cuisine – is incredible.”

Photo (c) Israel Nunez-Hernandez