Where are you from? How is veganism there?

I grew up in Breda, a city 30 min south of Rotterdam. I think my experience with veganism is similar to the rest of the Netherlands: in recent years a lot more café and restaurants have offered plant-based options, but it was definitely not common when I grew up. Noord-Brabant (where I’m from) is known for its sausage rolls (worstenbroodje), luckily there are vegan options now too!

Why did you choose that career path?

I have always liked the idea of designing environments in which people feel good. That motivation led me from a bachelor in Architecture to a master’s in Urban Environmental Management. Currently, I am figuring out what kind of job fits with my drive to make cities a healthier place, both for us humans and the rest of the planet.

How can you apply the knowledge of your studies to GZG?

Actually, I think I like GZG because it’s really different from my educational background. My background revolves around the physical systems and patterns that make up a city. At GZG it is about people and connecting through shared dinners, so it is the balance between the two that does it for me!

Do you live in Rotterdam and how did you discover GZG?

I moved here after studying in Delft, really because I like the atmosphere and as an urban designer Rotterdam feels like an ongoing project, in a good way. There are many initiatives in Rotterdam that rethink the city or the way we live in cities, GZG being one of them. So I came for the city, but I stayed for the people, if that makes sense.

I actually found GZG through Google. I was looking for volunteer work that involved cooking and GZG popped up on the first page.

What has been your favorite dish so far and why?

After every cooking session, I am amazed by the variety of dishes we have created. I particularly like the curries that AJ and Ruchika make, they work their magic with spices and it is always very tasty.

Where do you imagine GZG in the future?

The community around GZG is well established (location, volunteers, and guests) and I hope we can continue our Wednesday dinners while building out in other directions. The collaborations with Das Brot and GroenGoed really add value to the dinners. Also, I liked the ‘Oogstfeesten’, so I hope we can keep offering that kind of special event.