Below is a 1953 commercial featuring Chef Boyardee: And below the commercial from the 50s, is the whole history behind the Boyardee name: What do you think of the history behind the Chef Boyardee name? Required fields are marked *. He named the business after his mother, claiming that no one would want to buy from a place called Dons Pies.. Businessman. Fairly quickly, it became clear that the young Boiardi he was a prodigy. Anastasia Arellano. At the time of his death in 1985, at the age of 87 years old, the Chef Boyardee line of food products was grossing over half a billion dollars per year. As Boiardi himself later explained it, "everyone is proud of his own family name but sacrifices were necessary for progress.". TV Acres. Again, what a dude! So he changed his last name's spelling to make it easier to pronounce, slapped it on a can, and boom, Chef Boyardee was born. 2023 Minute Media - All Rights Reserved. He persuaded his brother, Mario, who was in New York working with Paul at the Plaza, to come to Cleveland. Afterward, Bioardi ended up moving to Cleveland, Ohio, where he opened up his very own restaurant. By Tim Nelson Published on February 13, 2021 When it comes to food brands and their human "mascots," you really can't believe everything you see. Husted picked the first name Betty because it sounded warm and friendly, and combined it with Crocker as a tribute to retired Washburn Crosby executive William Crocker. [11], Boiardi died of natural causes on June 21, 1985, at age 87 in a nursing home in Parma, Ohio, survived by his wife Helen J. Boiardi, who died in 1995, and son Mario, who died in 2007. The Milton factory started operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week in 1942, Five Places Where You Can Still Find Gold in the United States, Scientists Taught Pet Parrots to Video Call Each Otherand the Birds Loved It, Balto's DNA Provides a New Look at the Intrepid Sled Dog, The Science of California's 'Super Bloom,' Visible From Space, What We're Still Learning About Rosalind Franklins Unheralded Brilliance. You know his raviolis. Chef Boyardee pasta products contain no artificial ingredients, no artificial colors, and no preservativesjust the time-tested taste your family loves. Chef Boyardee was a real man, but he spelled his last name a little different from what you see on the cans of his pasta in sauce. In short, Chef Boyardee was a real person. While in this job, he took on the immense responsibility of catering the 1915 wedding reception of President Woodrow Wilson to Edith Bolling Galt. Weird History Food will follow Chef from his humble beginnings as an 11-year-old apprentice to the iconic figure he is today. From Italian immigrant to selling his company for millions, Boiardi's story is the very embodiment of the American dream. Chef Boyardee: Chef Boyardee The famous canned pasta is named after its founder, Hector. And, despite rumors to the contrary, Chef "Boy-Ar-Dee" was more Colonel than Betty - although that wasn't the correct spelling of his name. Unlike Chef Boyardee, the following brands feature fictitious people: Betty Crocker, Mrs. Butterworth, Aunt Jemima, and Ronald McDonald. [4] The idea for Chef Boiardi came about when restaurant customers began asking Boiardi for his spaghetti sauce, which he began to distribute in milk bottles. As Anna Boiardi writes in her book, "I think it is fair to say that those three men (the Boiardi brothers), with no formal education and very little money, can be credited with bringing Italian food to America.". Behind the label is a whole impressive history, beginning with the origins of Ettore Boiardi, who became Hector Boyardee . Chef Hector Boyardee was born in 1897 in Piacenza, Italy, not surprisingly with a very Italian name: Ettore Boiardi. And in 1928, the Chef Boiardi Food Company was born, launched by Hector, Helen,and Hectors brothers Paul and Mario. Colonel Sanders was real. Although the product sold well, the company name was a sticking point. In the 1970s, friends suggested that Amos make cookies his full-time business. However, a version of . And, perhaps most importantly, who is Chef Boyardee? [3] Four years later, in 1928, Boiardi opened a factory and moved production to Milton, Pennsylvania, where he could grow his own tomatoes and mushrooms. ", By 1936, the company had outgrown the Cleveland plant and moved to a large swath of land in Milton, Pennsylvania where they could grow their own tomatoes. The company, which is today known for its canned meals, especially its ravioli, has changed hands a number of times since. That was because Chef Boyardee meals were included in American soldiers rations. Fictional. REAL: An Italian immigrant, Chef Ettore Boiardi had a restaurant in Cleveland. [4] After sauce, their next product was closer to a complete pasta meal, including a canister of grated Parmesan cheese, a box of spaghetti, and a jar of pasta sauce, held together in cellophane plastic wrap. As a kid, I had so many questions. Weird History Food will follow Chef from his humble beginnings as an. His face is familiar to anyone who has ever eaten canned ravioli, but you might not know his story. He later learned more restaurant skills as an immigrant in Paris and London. Chef Hector Boyardee was born in 1897 in Piacenza, Italy, not surprisingly with a very Italian name: Ettore Boiardi. Maybe real. This was too much for Boiardi and his brothers to handle. The name was created for the Washburn Crosby Company (which would later merge with other businesses to form General Mills) by Marjorie Husted as a way to personalize the companys products and customer relations. Based on that strength, Consolidated Foods adopted the name Sara Lee for the whole corporation. [2] The patrons of Il Giardino d'Italia frequently asked for samples and recipes of his spaghetti sauce, so he filled cleaned milk bottles.[3]. Betty Crocker, Uncle Ben, Orville Redenbacher, and Dr. Pepper are a few that come to mind. Again, I was 10 and you could have put me on the phone with the president of the US and I would care less (same goes for today). As a result of the request, the name was changed to "Beef-a-reeno". He said I run a restaurant in Cleveland and am catering parties by putting my spaghetti in a bucket. He also garnered a summer job cooking at the historic and ritzy Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (for 30 years, it was also the site of an underground bunker for Congress in the case of nuclear war). It started out when he was an apprentice at a restaurant in Italy when he was just 11 years old, prior to his departure for New York. At the time the statue went up, Chef Boyardee had provided jobs for more than 10,000 workers in the Milton area.. After struggling with cash flow, compounded by internal family struggles over the ownership and direction of the company in managing rapid internal growth, he sold his brand to American Home Foods, later International Home Foods. In 1938, the company moved to Pennsylvania where it is still today. They came in agreement to sell the company and factory to American Home Foods for nearly $6 million. Chef Boyardee JUMBO Spaghetti & Meatballs Per 1 cup (255 g): 280 calories, 13 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 700 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (3 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 11 g protein Who knew that spaghetti and meatballs could come with 8 grams of sugar? Did you know this already? The restaurant was called Il Giardino dItalia, which means The Garden of Italy. With his brothers Mario and Paul, Chef Hector starts the Chef Boyardee Company. Take a Break from Tuna with the Best Canned Salmon, All of the Tapatio Products You May Not Have Known Exist, The 5 Best Bread and Butter Pickles Are Sweet, Sour, and Sensational, Sporkeds Guide to the Best Nachos Fixins, 3 Best Frozen Chicken Patties for DIY Fast Food. So in order to make the fledgling business more palatable to American eaters, the company became Chef "Boy-Ar-Dee" to phoneticize the spelling. Privacy Statement When I see cans of Chef Boyardee Lasagna, I think of ads using Weird Al Yankovics Lasagna as background music. Chef Boyardee is still on store shelves, but the Smurfs version is a thing of the past. Boiardi met his future factory superintendent when he approached the then employee of Vincennes Packing Co with the idea of canning his sauces. In short, Chef Boyardee was a real person. He was born Ettore Boiardi (or Hector as he was called in English) in Piacenza Italy in 1897. [18], In 2015, a class-action lawsuit was brought against the Chef Boyardee company. Then, a lucky break came in the way of a local grocer helping Boiardi start canning his sauce. Hector teamed up with his brothers Mario and Paul to found the Chef Boyardee company, using a phonetic spelling of the family's last name to make it easier to pronounce. Chef Boyardee Real. People stand outside for hours, waiting for a taste. Today, Chef Boyardee sells a variety of classic pasta dishes in both cans and those little microwavable cupsSpaghetti & Meatballs, Beefaroni, Lasagna, and, of course, both meat and cheese ravioli. That would be one Ettore "Hector" Boiardi, a very real Italian-American chef. After immigrating to America at the age of 16, he got a job at New Yorks Plaza Hotel, And during those years, Boiardi also directed the catering for Woodrow Wilsons. Aunt Jemima was later brought to life when the businesss new owner hired Nancy Green, a former slave, to portray the character in ads and at events. German immigrant brothers Oscar, Gottfried, and Max Mayer ran a butcher shop in Chicago in the early 20th century, which was one of the first companies to get on board with the USDAs new meat inspection grades. At first, the revised name was Boy-ar-dee, a phonetic spelling of how the family name was pronounced. Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli: A Delicious And Convenient Meal. It quickly became a family business, when his brothers moved to Ohio to help him with his canning business. In several cases it's not clear whether the namesake ever actually lived, and in many cases the person the brand is named after never existed at all. Before launching the Chef Boyardee line of products, Chef Boiardi, in 1915 at the age of 17 years old, supervised the catering for President Woodrow Wilsons wedding reception. Did you know that Chef Boyardee was a real person? The short answer is probably not, unfortunately. Read More SERVING HIS COUNTRY, SERVING THE TROOPS 1942 Chef Hector plays a major role on the home front by making food for the troops. The 17 Real People Behind Your Favorite Food Brand Names Slideshow. The plaintiff who filed the class-action lawsuit was demanding more than $5 million in damages. But the real Chef Boyardee? Four years later, Boiardi and his brothers started the Chef Boyardee Company. By the late 1930s, Hector was headed east to set up his kitchen in Milton, Pennsylvania . Born Ettore (Hector) Boiardi, Chef Boyardee was a real man and a real chef (unlike Mrs. Butterworth or Betty Crocker). So he changed his last name's spelling to make it easier to pronounce, slapped it on a can, and boom, Chef Boyardee was born. I actually talked with Chef Boyardee on the phone when I was 10 years old. [1] [2] History The Chef Boyardee factory in Milton, Pennsylvania, as seen from across the West Branch Susquehanna River at Central Oak Heights Not much else is known about the real Ben, and its not even his picture on the box. Kat Eschner is a freelance science and culture journalist based in Toronto. Did Trader Joe's Just Release a Cheaper Momofuku Instant Noodle Dupe? Four years later, International Home Foods was purchased by ConAgra Foods, which continues to produce Chef Boyardee canned pastas bearing Boiardi's likeness.[7]. Betty. He is buried at All Souls Cemetery in Chardon Township, Ohio. [19] The lawsuit was dismissed in 2016.[20]. He eventually took jobs in Paris and London, learning various restaurant skills to complement his Italian upbringing. He later started a successful flooring and tile company. [5], The U.S. military commissioned the company during World War II for the production of army rations, requiring the factory to run 24 hours a day. Hector Boiardi ran a popular Italian restaurant in Cleveland in the 1920s, and his recipes were so popular that people convinced him to mass-market them. Green made her public debut in character at the1893World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where she charmed the crowds and doled out pancakes from a booth.The Jemima brand soon became so popular that Green secured a lifetime contract, and the business was renamedthe Aunt Jemima Mills Company. And in 1928, the Chef Boyardee food company was born.. In 1917, NPR writes, he moved to Cleveland, where in 1924 he opened a restaurant with his wife Helen Boiardi. They later sold the company, and Dean stayed involved in management and as a spokesperson until management phased him out. A company is a legal body created by a group of people to conduct and manage a multinational corporation, whether it be commercial or economic.. Juan Valdez is a fictional character.In the New York metropolitan area premises of a promotional agency, he established in 1959. [13], In June 2000, ConAgra Foods acquired International Home Foods. Soon enough, patrons were asking if they could start making the recipes at home themselves. So impressed with Boiardi's cooking, Wilson chose him to supervise the homecoming meal of 2,000 returning World War I soldiers in late 1918. Boiardi was survived by his wife Helen Wroblewski Boiardi, who eventually died in 1995, and his son Mario Boiardi, who in turn died in 2007. Even though its now a household name, the people of still have very sentimental memories of Chef Boyardee. After a stint in prison for continuing to harass and pillage the Spanish after a peace treaty was signed, he was knighted and appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica. Chef Hector retires from his consultant position. From the Chef Boyardee website: . When it comes to food brands and their human "mascots," you really can't believe everything you see. Later, in 2000, ConAgra bought IHF, and they currently own the Chef Boyardee name. Hector Boiardi ran a popular Italian restaurant in Cleveland in the 1920s, and his recipes were so popular that people convinced him to mass-market them. And during those years, Boiardi also directed the catering for Woodrow Wilsons second wedding, to Edith Galt in 1915. Look at Chef Boyardee, for example. Chef Boiardi was awarded a Gold Star Order of Excellence from the United States War Department for supplying millions of rations for American and Allied troops during WWII. One of the more famous he worked at as a youth was New Yorks famous Plaza and Ritz-Carlton hotel. The company was founded by Italian immigrant Ettore Boiardi in Milton, Pennsylvania, U.S., in 1928. Boiardi originally grew his trademark mustache to try to make himself look older as he was generally the youngest cook in the often top notch restaurants where he was a cook at, starting around 16 when he moved to America. By 11, according to his great-niece Ann Boiardi's 2011 book, he was already a chef's apprentice at a restaurant called "La Croce Bianca," where he mostly peeled potatoes and took out the garbage. It was confusing to some people and that was beginning to affect sales, staff, and customers so that is when the brothers decided it was best to anglicize their name to make it easier for others to recognize. He died on June 21, 1985, and today the company is owned by ConAgra, the conglomerate behind faves like Slims Jim, Reddi-wip, Vlasic pickles, PAM, Orville Redenbachers popcorn, and, like, a bajillion and three more food brands. Born in 1897 near Piacenza, Italy, Boiardi took to cooking from an early age, supposedly finding work as an apprentice chef at a hotel at the ripe age of 11.When he was 16, Ettore left home, arriving at Ellis Island just months before the outbreak of World War I. But not all brands involving a person's name have origins that are so cut and dry. He is the great uncle of American author Anna Boiardi, who wrote Delicious Memories: Recipes and Stories from the Chef Boyardee Family. Writes Il Giardino dItalia, The Garden of Italy in English, soon became one of Clevelands top eateries with customers regularly lining up to wait for tables and dine on Boiardis signature cooked-to-order spaghetti with its savoury sauce and tangy cheese. Chef Boyardee Was a Real Person Who Brought Italian Food to America By Matt Blitz Published on June 22, 2017 Photo: Dorann Weber / Getty Images Colonel Sanders was real. Who Was Chef Boyardee? To woo potential clients, hed send them packages of his home-made cookies. Morrison & Co. Old Corner Drug Store in Waco, Texas in 1885. DUNCAN HINES CAKE MIXES. | Another example of this trend (while not a brand name) is Cream of Wheat's African-American mascot Rastus, who graced boxes of the stuff, wearing his chef's whites, from the 1890s until the 1920s. From Duncan Hines to Chef Boyardee, here are 33 grocery store items named after real people. Betty Crocker was not. From there, he worked his way up the ranks and became the head chef. As for how the whole iconic cheap canned pasta thing started, Ettore decided to help out by producing military rations for the troops overseas during World War II, which kind of sort of made him an American hero. Chef Boyardee Was A Real Person What's more: Hector Boiardi was a respected chef who even helped cater Woodrow Wilson's second wedding Kat Eschner March 20, 2017 You know what he looks like,. Did all the can move on their own? By the time the war ended, the company employed five thousand people and production far exceeded what they were doing in the 1930s. 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We stan Ettore. Ettore Boiardi was an Italian immigrant who worked as a chef in New York and West Virginia hotels (where he supposedly catered Woodrow Wilson's second wedding) before. Let us know! Unlike the friendly but fictional food faces of Betty Crocker, Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, Chef Boyardee that jovial, mustachioed Italian chef is real. Its first product: spaghetti dinner, including a canister of grated parmesan, a box of spaghetti and a jar of sauce. [3] The first product to be sold was a "ready-to-heat spaghetti kit" in 1928. Real. document.getElementById("ak_js_1").setAttribute("value",(new Date()).getTime()); Jessica Block is a freelance contributor to Sporked, a comedian, a baker, a food writer, and a firm believer that Trader Joe's may just be the happiest place on earth. Though no longer the owner, he remained the face of the company, appearing in a variety of print and TV ads for the brand until the late 70s, touting an ever-expanding array of canned Italian eats. [16], Chef Boyardee is one of the only brands to request to be removed from an episode of Seinfeld. You love his raviolis. Ettore Boiardi (October 22, 1897 June 21, 1985), also known by the Anglicized name Hector Boyardee, was an Italian-American chef, famous for his eponymous brand of food products, named Chef Boyardee. Language links are at the top of the page across from the title. What other brands are on the list? [1] Already then, the company was the largest importer of Italian Parmesan cheese, while also buying tons of olive oil, according to grandniece Anna Boiardi. Fields began franchising in 1990 and then sold the business while staying on as the companys spokesperson. Cookie Policy So the next time you're in the supermarket and see a brand that you think might be named after someone, don't automatically assume it is. Hector Boiardi ran a popular Italian restaurant in Cleveland in the 1920s, and his recipes were so popular that people convinced him to mass-market them. In an iconic TV ad from the early 00s, a can of Chef Boyardee beef ravioli goes on an epic journey, rolling of its own volition from the grocery store all the way to a familys home to be reunited with a small, ravioli-loving child. While we may think of him as the man on the can, Ettore "Hector" Boiardi was, in fact, one of the top culinary talents in America who even cooked for a president. The dish was so popular that patrons wanted to make it for themselves at home, so Boiardi began to assemble take-out meal kits that included dried pasta, cheese and cleaned milk bottles filled with marinara sauce along with instructions on how to cook, heat and assemble the meal. OK, he didn't spell his name the same way, but Ettore "Hector" Boiardi was a real person. Italy's postwar government went one step further, not only awarding him a cross of honor, but also bestowing the title "king of the spaghetti dinner." There was never an "Uncle Ben" before Mars decided to overhaul the brand, and "Aunt Jemima" was a racist construction inspired by minstrel shows. The Chef Boyardee line was later sold, in 2000, to ConAgra Foods. The Welsh sailor made his name defending British interests and raiding Spanish ships and towns throughout the Caribbean. In the episode "The Rye", Kramer is allowed to operate a Hansom cab for a week, and feeds the horse excess cans of Beefaroni, which causes frequent and foul smelling flatulence. But his goal was always to sail across the Atlantic and join his brother Paul in America. In less-racist mascot falsification, Betty Crocker was the product of a Saturday Evening Post contest, and KFC's Colonel Harlan Sanders never actually earned the military rank that many misattribute to him. He dubbed the canned and bottled products Chef Boy-Ar-Dee to help consumers pronounce his name. [5] Boiardi sold his products under the brand name "Chef Boy-Ar-Dee" because non-Italians could not manage the pronunciation,[6][7] including his own salesforce. For producing rations supplying Allied troops during World War II, he was awarded a Gold Star order of excellence[clarification needed] from the United States War Department.[8]. Ettore Boiardi was an Italian Italian immigrant who came to the United States at the age of 16 and took the name "Hector Boiardi" while passing through Ellis Island. Debbi Fields and her then-husband Randall opened their first bakery in 1977. Hector Boiardi, born in 1897, was born in Italy, where he began working at a hotel in his hometown when he was 11 (child labor meant something a little different in the early 1900s.) Real. Newlyweds Chef Hector and Helen open the restaurant Il Giardino d'Italia, where his Italian cooking becomes the talk of the town. Today, Chef Boyardee sells a variety of classic pasta dishes in both cans and those little microwavable cupsSpaghetti & Meatballs, Beefaroni, Lasagna, and, of course, both meat and cheese ravioli. Far from some dated Italian caricature, "Hector" was actually a model immigrant who made his name cooking for discerning diners in New York and Cleveland not to mention a sitting president long before his likeness ever graced a can of Beefaroni. He stayed on as a consultant there until 1978. Smashing 20,000 tons of tomatoes a season, the Milton factory produced upwards of 250,000 cans of sauce a day. Whether you loved his lasagna or his spaghetti dinners, the man's history is fascinating. Early life [ edit] Boiardi was born in Piacenza, Italy, in 1897, to Giuseppe and Maria Maffi Boiardi. After the war ended, Boiardi had to choose between selling the company or laying off everyone he had hired. Boiardi used to grow his own tomatoes and mushrooms in the basement of the factory where his product line was produced. Soon, he moved up to the ranks of matre d', becoming one of the most well-known hosts in the city. At the age of 24, he moved to Cleveland and opened a restaurant with his wife. They also procured distribution across the United States through their grocery's wholesale partners. Today I found out Chef Boyardee was a real person. There has even been an internet rumor denying his existence, claiming that "Boyardee" was combination of the names of three food company executives; Boyd, Art and Dennis. Chef Boyardee was a real person. Your email address will not be published. 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is chef boyardee a real person