Ettore Boiardi Biography
(Italian-American Chef Known for His Food Products, Named ‘Chef Boyardee’)
Birthday: October 22, 1897 (Libra)
Born In: Piacenza, Italy
Ettore Boiardi, or Hector Boyardee, was an Italian-American chef who set up his own packaged food business named Chef Boyardee. Beginning his career as a kitchen helper, he worked hard to eventually become the head chef of the Plaza Hotel in New York City within a few years. He also successfully catered a presidential wedding in the United States, taking charge of the wedding reception party of President Woodrow Wilson’s second marriage to Edith Bolling in 1915. Boiardi opened his own restaurant, ‘Il Giardino d'Italia’, at the age of 29 in Cleveland. It became one of the most popular eateries in the city. By the end of the 1930s, Boiardi along with the patrons of his restaurant had established the brand “Chef Boiardi” for selling his packaged signature pasta products. He soon realized that his non-Italian customers and salesmen struggled with the pronunciation of his last name and decided to change his brand name to "Chef Boyardee.” During World War II, the US military contacted Boiardi’s company for their army rations. The legendary chef later sold his company to American Home Foods in a multi-million-dollar deal.