About Chef Boyardee
Chef Boyardee is named after its founder, Hector Boiardi, who was born in Italy in 1897. In 1914, Boiardi came to the U.S. and followed his brother to the kitchen of the Plaza Hotel in New York City. There, he eventually worked his way up to head chef.
In December 1915, Boiardi catered President Woodrow Wilson’s second wedding.
In 1924, Boiardi opened the Il Giardino d’Italia (the Garden of Italy) restaurant at East 9th Street and Woodland Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. When restaurant customers began asking him for his recipes and ingredients, he got the idea to sell his flavorful creations.
To keep up with requests and production, Boiardi opened a factory in 1928. He introduced his products to the public in 1929, touting the low cost of spaghetti as a good 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 his name properly.
In 1946, the company was sold to American Home Products. The brand was distributed for use by United States armed forces. American Home Products 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 canned pastas bearing Hector Boiardi's likeness.
Today, Boiardi’s legacy of quality ingredients and no preservatives still goes into every can, including vine-ripened tomatoes and real Italian seasoned meat.