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Gal Gadot’s next mission is rescuing dinner, starting with classic macaroni and cheese. The Red Notice star has launched Goodles, a new plant-based twist on the powdered cheese comfort dish fit for family dinners and home movie nights.
Debuting today, the new organic brand is serving up four flavors: the old-fashioned Cheddy, Twist My Parm (spiral noodles with asiago and parmesan), Shella Good (shell pasta with aged white cheddar) and Mover & Shaker (cacio e pepe-inspired sauce with elbow macaroni). Each box ($3.50 each or $20 for four) is packed with 14 grams of protein, six grams of fiber and 21 nutrients from organic vegetables, and the products will land on grocery store shelves in early to mid-2022. Until then, shoppers can stock up online at Goodles’ website.
“Just so you understand my passion, my love for mac and cheese — so when I was a 6-year-old girl living in Israel my aunt and uncle who were living in America came to visit us, and you know what they got me as a gift for their visit? A bag filled with boxes of mac and cheese because they didn’t sell them in Israel,” Gadot tells The Hollywood Reporter over a Zoom call. “That’s how much I love mac and cheese… and I always knew that it was a crappy food, and I still loved it! [Laughs] Since I became mature, I care about what I consume, and I care about my workout. We have three daughters, we’re so mindful about what we feed them with. We were looking for a better, healthier option. And I was so frustrated because in so many other markets — for people who are sensitive to lactose, or people who are sensitive to wheat, or whatever it might be — there are so many better options, so many alternatives. And with this, there was none.”
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The boxed meal is the first product from Santa Cruz-based company Gooder Foods, which Gadot co-founded with her husband, real estate developer Yaron Varsano, and Jennifer Zeszut, the former CEO of healthy baby food brand Cerebelly. The company is backed by foodie venture capitalist firm, Rose Culinary, which is also behind coffee alternative brand Md\wtr, CBD-infused sparkling water label Recess and a slew of buzzy restaurants. Also on the team are food industry veterans from Annie’s and Kraft.
“I know it sounds very ‘Hollywood’, but Gal and I always looked for an idea that’s a disruptive and innovative company,” says Varsano. “Nutrition is a very important part of our lives like anyone… The fact that [Goodles appeals] to both mature audience and kids, is very important because I myself I work out a lot, so does Gal.”
It took over a thousand tries to land on the winning recipes, which were taste-tested by a nationwide community of gourmands, including the Hollywood couple’s own three daughters. The job was harder than they thought, she says.
“We were naïve to think at the beginning that this was going to be an easy, effective, and fast process to figure out the right recipe,” the 36-year-old actress explains. “We were wrong big time. First of all, we assembled a large group of people from across the country, over a thousand people, to find the right balance and taste for the product. Our daughters were part of it of course, and they were the hardest judges.”
In addition to landing the taste-testers’ thumbs-up, Goodles also earned the Purity Award from Colorado-based nonprofit Clean Label Project, which tests products for industrial and environmental toxins and contaminants (such as pesticide residue, plasticizers and heavy metals). Of course, it’s stamped with the seal of approval of the Wonder Woman 1984 actress (and mother of three) herself — and apparently, even her trainer.
Says Varsano, “He always tells us to eat carbs after the workout because [they] create an insulin spike that works together with the protein and I can become bigger, rougher and tougher, and when I brought this to my trainer, he said, ‘This is the perfect solution for you guys, you have the protein, you have the carbs, and it’s delicious!'”
It’s not the first time that Gadot and Varsano — who have been married for 13 years — have partnered in business. The two are also investors in a slew of health-minded companies, including Israel-based alternative meat brand Aleph and AI-powered healthcare startup K Health, among others.
They reveal their secret to a successful life partnership: “Separate Zoom rooms!” quips Varsano.
On a more serious note, he says, “we agree that it’s okay to disagree. As partners, we each bring a different thing to the table and in our relationship, we’ve been together for a long time and we enjoy working together and as I mentioned before, it’s a circus family so the whole family works together. But we respect each other and each other’s opinions, and we understand that each and every one of us brings something else to the table. That is important and crucial.”
Adds Gadot, “We have similar views and we have similar aspirations, we always want to be involved and to promote and push and do things that are bringing joy. You know, it’s not that we’re working on a cancer medication but we want to do things that bring joy to the world to bring something positive to the world. Like Yaron mentioned, this product is reimagining the whole experience of the ‘older’ mac and cheese and we wanted to create the same experience, but making sure that the nutrients and everything is good.”
As far as what else the Hollywood family cooks up these days (“My wife is an amazing cook!” raves Varsano), Gadot says shakshouka — a classic Maghrebi dish of poached eggs with tomatoes, bell peppers and spices — is among her specialties. And for adding a gourmet flavor to her dishes — mac and cheese or otherwise — truffle oil is her go-to for low-key meals or entertaining at her home. (Varsano adds that Gadot is also a great dinner party host).
Does this mean we can expect a Gadot-Varsano recipe book in the works? As to whether her expert culinary skills might mean a future cookbook, Gadot says, “oh, you just planted a seed!”
Until then, fans will have to scoop up some Goodles for their next Gadot-powered movie night.
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