Chef Hector Boiardi, A true American hero

Chef Boyardee standing with World War II military leaders on a stage

If you’re looking for a meal with a great story, look no further than Chef Boyardee. The story begins with great ingredients — many Chef pasta dishes contain no artificial flavor, colors or preservatives. And while you’re no doubt familiar with the satisfying taste of Chef Boyardee, you may not know some of the rich stories behind the company.  

Chef Boyardee has long been an iconic part of American mealtimes, but did you know the company and founder, Chef Hector Boiardi, played an important role in the country’s World War II efforts? With American troops engaged in battle overseas, the comforts of home were much appreciated. Chef Boyardee meals were an essential part of soldiers’ rations during the war. 

Beginning in 1942, the Chef Boyardee plant in Milton, Pennsylvania began operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week to keep up with production demands. When they weren’t busy with production, Chef Boyardee employees could be seen marching through the streets of Milton during patriotic parades that inspired wartime support. Banners that read “Keep 'em flying! Keep 'em rolling! Keep 'em well-fed!” conveyed the pride the employees took in their critical role.

Chef Boyardee standing with World War II military leaders on a stage

By the time the war was won in 1945, the efforts of everyone at Chef Boyardee had not gone unnoticed. In 1946 employees gathered for a celebration in Milton as Hector Boiardi was awarded The Gold Star, one of the highest honors a civilian can receive, in honor of the company’s wartime efforts. Hector’s commitment to his country was surpassed only by his commitment to his employees. In order to keep the employees who were hired for increased production during the war, Chef Hector made the difficult decision to sell the company.

While much has changed since those days, Chef Boyardee’s commitment to serving a warm, delicious meal remains the same. And with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives in classic pasta dishes such as Beef Ravioli and Lasagna, Chef Boyardee is a meal you can serve with the same pride that Chef Hector did in his World War II story.

Chef Boyardee Ravioli on a blue plate