Meet the Real Man Behind the Brand
You know you love the delicious flavors of Chef Boyardee®, but did you know that behind this real great food is a real great chef?
Becoming "Chef Boyardee"
Before there was Chef Boyardee, there was Hector Boiardi. And it's time you met the real great chef behind this real great food.
From Boiardi to Boyardee
The Chef Boyardee brand is named after its founder, Hector Boiardi. Born in Italy in 1897, Boiardi immigrated to the U.S. in 1914, and followed his brother to the kitchen of The Plaza Hotel in New York City, where he quickly worked his way up to head chef.
In 1924, Boiardi opened the Il Giardino d'Italia (The Garden of Italy) restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio. It was a smash, and when customers began asking him for his recipes and ingredients, he got the idea to sell his culinary creations. Thus, an empire was born.
Moving from the Kitchen to the Factory
Chef Hector opened a factory in 1928. He introduced his products to America a year later, touting his now-famous spaghetti dinner as a delicious and economical choice to serve to the entire family. Proud of his Italian heritage, Boiardi sold his products under the brand name "Chef Boy-Ar-Dee" so that his American customers could pronounce it properly.
In 1946, the company was sold to American Home Products. That company turned its food division into International Home Foods in 1996. Four years later, International Home Foods was purchased by ConAgra Foods®, which continues to produce Chef Boyardee products that still bear Hector Boiardi's universally recognized likeness.