Ettore Boiardi was born October 22, 1897, in Italy. He went on to become a famous chef. At the age of 16, Ettore Boiardi arrived at Ellis Island. In 1924, he opened a restaurant named Il Giardino d’Italia opened in Cleveland, Ohio.
His customers loved his food, especially his spaghetti sauce so much that they started asking for it. Four years later, the company Chef Boyardee was born in 1928. He opened his factory in Pennsylvania where the land was plentiful with tomatoes and mushrooms. Ettore Boiardi changed the spelling of his last name in an effort that Americans could pronounce it correctly. His product was a success.
During World War II, the US military required his factory to be open round the clock in order to make army rations. American Home Products purchased the company after the war in 1946. In 1985, Ettore Boiardi died of natural causes at the age of 87. He was survived by his wife and son Mario along with 13 grandchildren.
The company moved from International Home Foods in 1996 and crossed over to ConAgra Foods at the turn of the century. The canned pasta is still popular and bears the chef’s image and name.