Boyardee - Italian chef sporting a puffed white chef hat seen on cans or
bottles of spaghetti and pasta sauces made by the Chef Boyardee Company. The company's ad slogan is
"Thank goodness for Chef Boyardee!" The
Boyardee products were originally created by an Italian immigrant named Hector Boiardi who was born in northern Italy in 1898 and came to the United States in
1914 at the age of 17.
Obtaining work as a chef at the New York's Plaza Hotel
with the help of his brother, Hector perfected his culinary talents and quickly
moved through many prestigious New York restaurants, including the Ritz-Carlton.
He later moved to renowned Hotel Greenbriar in West Virginia where he catered
President Woodrow Wilson’s wedding and then to Cleveland where he worked as the
chef at the new Hotel Winton.
Finally, Hector opened his own restaurant, Il Giardino d’Italia. His spaghetti and meatball recipes became very popular and as
a result, patrons asked for extra sauce to take home. Hector eventually began to
sell his sauces (adding cheeses and pasta) in area stores and beyond.
years, Boiardi (Americanized to "Boyardee" for easier pronunciation) moved his
operations to Pennsylvania where he packed food rations for World War II. His
company ultimately merged with American Home Foods (now International Home
Foods). As of 2000, Chef Boyardee is the registered trademark of ConAgra Brands,
Inc. Hector Boiardi died in 1985 at the age of 87.
TRIVIA NOTE: There is a urban legend that
believes that Chef Boyardee was a fictional creation whose name was a hybrid of
the company's alleged three founders: Boyd, Art, and Dennis.