Chef Boyardee

Chef Boyardee

More often than not, a product mascot is a figment of the imagination of some advertising executive. But once in a while, you get the real deal, such as Ettore Boiardi, better known by the phonetic spelling of his last name, Chef Boyardee. Though he has long since passed, his culinary creations have delighted parents and children alike for their simplicity and flavor for nearly a century.

Boiardi opened his first Italian restaurant in 1926, in Cleveland, OH. And apparently his sauce was so good that people started to ask if they could buy portions of it to bring home with them. He complied as best he could, but the demand was great. It wasn’t long before he couldn’t fill the plentiful orders from his meager kitchen so he opened a factory, began offering a complete line of easy-to-make and inexpensive dinners, and altered his name to the version we know today.

If there was one thing that the good chef wasn’t, it was camera-shy. When television became popular, he cheerfully starred in his own commercials, pitching his products for over three decades.

There is no shortage of products on today’s store shelves bearing the Chef Boyardee name and likeness. Besides traditional favorites such as spaghetti and meatballs and ravioli, there is the ever-popular Beefaroni, lasagna, mini-bites, and pizza kits.

The flavor and quality have changed a bit over the years, but Chef Boyardee products still provide a hot meal to anyone in a hurry or on a budget, and are easy for kids to prepare without parental assistance, making them a popular after-school snack as well. We can thank Ettore Boiardi for not only introducing Italian food to American homes in decades-past, but also making sure our kids could enjoy a bowl of pasta that they made themselves.

We’re pretty certain that a good segment of our readers have a little Chef Boyardee experience under their belts. So why don’t you tell us about those childhood memories of eating Mr. Boiardi’s cooking in our comments section below, as we celebrate this shining example of the American dream.

7 Responses to “Chef Boyardee”

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  1. popcult69 says:

    Spaghetti-Os rule…what else can I say?

  2. tcoria says:

    chef boyardee is not good. the sauce is one of the nastiest sauces i have ever tasted, i tried it once as a kid, and never ate it again.

  3. jennifer harris says:

    I love Chef Boyardee.

  4. Tom says:

    If you guys EVER find the late 1960’s/early 1970’s Chef Boy-Ar-Dee “Lunchtime, The Bell Tolls” commercial, pleasePleasePLEASE post it on Facebook. Love that commercial as a kid!

    “Lunchtime! The bell tolls,
    Spaghetti and Meatballs!
    For you and for me,
    from Chef Boy Ar-Dee!”

    • ROCKY says:

      “Round rings of spaghetti
      Juicy meatballs all ready
      Sauce with cheese
      From Chef Boyardee!”

      I loved that ad! All these years later, I still have it playing in my head.

  5. Gina says:

    I have a bunch of cans stocked in my kitchen right now. My favorite is spaghetti and meatballs.

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