The Man, The Can: The Real Chef Boyardee

by David Lauterbach
2011 May 19

Credit: Stewart, Tabori & Chang

NPR has a piece about the jovial, mustachioed Italian chef whose image has graced the cans of ravioli and beefaroni that have been a staple in many American households for several generations.

Unlike the friendly but fictional food faces of Betty Crocker, Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, Chef Boyardee is real. Ettore “Hector” Boiardi (that’s how the family really spells it) founded the company with his brothers in 1928, after the family immigrated to America from Italy.

Though we came to know him as Chef Boyardee — in the apron and trademark tall hat — Anna Boiardi knew him simply as Uncle Hector. Anna carried on her family’s culinary tradition; her new book, Delicious Memories, is part cookbook, part family history and part homage to her ancestors — immigrants who made their way in a new country.

Even though packaged food made with preservatives  has fallen out of favor, the Boiardi’s played a major role in introducing Italian food to the U.S. — and also changed the way American supermarket shelves were stocked.

Read the full story at NPR, the book is at Amazon.

Pardon us please, while we pay for beer...

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] Where is this master chef from?WALMART.COM: FREE Chef Boyardee Product Coupon for FIRST 50,000 ONLY!The Man, The Can: The Real Chef BoyardeeWe Love Chef Boyardee!We Love Chef Boyardee!Is Chef Boyardee Italian or French? Where is this master […]


It’s funny how I always new I liked Beefaroni as a kid but just assumed as I got older it was bad for me, or just plain not as tasty as cooking something fresh… but I have to say, I just had a can for the first time in years and it was delicious!

Any thoughts? Please comment!x