Founder's blog: Inventing Our Bespoke Flavors
"Healthy - yes! Flavorful - even more so!"
“Take out your apron, and let’s do this!” I said to Chef Petteri Luoto as I let him know that I was on my way to his kitchen in Mexico City. All I took was my carry-on suitcase, packed full of different brands of instant noodles, sauces, and ingredients for our R&D weekend (what more is needed beyond noodles anyways?).
I had been flying with these ingredients around the world, to the USA, Finland, and now Mexico. I was on a mission to create the best tasting and healthy broths for Noodelist noodles that reminded me of my mom’s cooking, and I knew that Chef Petteri could turn my dream into a recipe.
As many of you know, I don’t cook, but I know my noodles as I grew up on the best noodle soups made by my mom. The problem is I always got kicked out of the kitchen for eating before the food was ready, so I never fully learned the family recipes. I did know what flavors were needed, but I needed the right partner to figure out how to bring it all together on the palate - and that’s where Chef Petteri came in.
Shortly after I appeared in his kitchen, Chef Petteri and I discussed using a variety of traditional Vietnamese and Chinese spices, and the Finnish Chef quickly whipped up several different broths; his talent in combining different flavors with subtle nuances is out of this world. It didn’t take many tries for him to nail two tasty broths that were bespoke, meaning that it was delicious, authentic and original - not similar to any of the competitor’s flavors we were sampling.
But it wasn’t ready just yet. It was already past midnight, but Chef Petteri still wasn’t 100% happy since he said one of the broths was missing a tad of kaffir lime. I rolled my eyes (since I had no idea what the kaffir he is talking about), and offered the Chef some of my leftover savory snacks that I had been munching on during my flight over - crunchy kaffir lime chicken jerky - my all time favorite snack from Vietnam.
Chef Petteri tried the jerky, cracked a wry smile, and put some into the broth. Then voilà! Chef Petteri said,“it’s ready!”. And here I had no idea that my favorite snack pulled from my pocket in the middle of the night was the so-called last note/touch that Petteri was looking for. And that’s how the first versions of our bespoke and tasty Noodelist soup bases were born: Bold & Juicy Shiitake and Lemongrass Vegan Chicken'ish.
Now we needed to hear directly from consumers, and we really hoped that others would like our noodle soups as much as we did. Our very first tasting was in December 2018 at the Nordic Innovation House in Palo Alto, California, and the second blind tasting was organized by Tinker Kitchen and Kitchentown in San Francisco in May 2019. Many more tasting followed and the feedback confirmed that we needed to go for it! It’s a scary feeling to invest all you’ve got into noodles, but I was on a mission after all.
As Chef Petteri says, “If you put your heart into your cooking, people will love to eat what you’ve created.”
Thank you Chef Petteri for contributing to our amazing and bespoke soup broths! More soups are on the way, but we’re still in the kitchen perfecting them - my other pockets have not been emptied yet ;)