Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery was recently able to talk to Chef Lauryn Bodden, winner of Netflix's Snack vs. Chef TV show, about her new product, S'NOODS, as well as its Kickstarter campaign.

Liz Parker: How did you come up with the idea for S'NOODS?

Lauryn Bodden: When faced with the decision of creating any original snack I wanted, I had no idea what to make. That's a huge ask because it's hard to think of what doesn't already exist. I just started thinking about how I wish I could noodle it over while eating some pasta because I'm always craving pasta, especially because I worked in primarily Italian kitchens and got into making it at home during the pandemic. I thought about how I consider a bowl of pasta a snack, but most don't—so let's really make it snackable in a chip form.

My thought process was to showcase the various noodle dishes around the world, shedding a light on more traditional flavors and noodle shapes that may be unfamiliar to most. I want amatriciana sauce to be as known/popular as spaghetti and meatballs. Additionally, I've always been a huge advocate of upcycling and have been a longtime follower of the Upcycled Food Association, so it was important to me to incorporate sustainability from upcycled ingredients to eco-friendly packaging. In the end, I want people to be curious when they interact with S'NOODS. Travel through your tastebuds and question your food.

Down the road, I want to include QR codes on the packaging to link to recipe/video content on to showcase how to make the actual dishes beyond the snack. I am a huge advocate of teaching and getting people engaged around what they enjoy eating, but also getting them excited to cook new things.
LP: How did you get involved with Snack vs. Chef?

LB: Originally, I applied to be a judge on Snack vs. Chef, knowing I was not necessarily qualified. It was early on in the pandemic and I was looking for a creative outlet from my day-to-day work as a food editor. I got a call that they had the judges locked in, but wanted me to audition as a contestant. I declined because I have honestly always had nightmares of participating in a cooking competition, especially one broadcasted around the world. I was the one that always worked behind the scenes not in front of the action. But, it was a point where I felt more confident in who I was/am, so I decided to take the leap. I'm glad I did because it showed me I can hang with some of the best. It showed me how much I love cooking in front of the camera and it completely changed my career path. I went from working as a food editor to a freelance private chef that often cooks on sailing charters around the world.
LP: Why did you decide to launch a Kickstarter for S'NOODS?

LB: One of the hardest parts of working to launch S'NOODS has been the money. It costs a lot to make a snack, especially one that is pretty innovative in terms of how it's produced because it requires specific equipment. I decided to move forward with a Kickstarter because it felt like a great way to raise money, get the word out, and in a way, showcase pre-sale numbers to future investors and retailers. It allowed me to continue working on the product, while building on people's excitement from the show.

LP: How did you choose your initial flavors? How is the process going as the product works its way to launch?

LB: There's a lot of novelty already around this snack from what it is (noodle chips) to the shape/texture and the upcycling component. I wanted to choose flavors that are bold/new/fun, but also slightly familiar to be cognizant of consumer trends and habits. I was told by a mentor that often consumers will avoid flavors they cannot pronounce so something like Cacio e Pepe may be more intimidating to start with.

I wanted two Italian leaning flavors and one Asian to showcase that the brand is not just about Italian pasta dishes. I knew I wanted a red sauce flavor, spicier flavor, and cheesy flavor. In terms of shapes, I went with noodles that are all extruded to streamline the initial production launch. Most are familiar with rigatoni and ramen, but Cavatappi is less mainstream; however, it's still somewhat familiar in that it looks like a longer macaroni. The Rigatoni Basil Pomodoro invokes Nonna's sunday sauce with a more complex formulation to taste like a cooked sauce that has multiple layers to it. The Spicy Miso Ramen is an umami bomb of brothy flavor with subtle heat. The Cavatappi Carbonara is seriously cheesy with a hint of smoke (courtesy of a meat-free ingredient). The seasonings are not just tomato powder mixed with dried herbs and cheese powder. They are meant to convey the cooking process of these beloved dishes.