Meet Ettore Boiardi: The Man Behind the Can

Here's the story of Ettore Boiardi, a savvy restauranteur and groundbreaking chef who became a household name.

The following article, written by Elaine T. Cicora, appears on

Me and Chef Boyardee

How Cleveland’s first celebrity chef made me the woman I am today

I owe my career to Chef Boyardee. No, not a can of Beefaroni. The real, honest-to-goodness man behind the can, Ettore Boiardi—groundbreaking chef, visionary businessman, savvy restaurateur, and by all accounts, a really nice guy who hung his toque in Cleveland on his way to becoming a multimillionaire in the packaged foods industry.

Like his eponymous boxed dinners, Ettore—or Hector, as he was known following his 1914 arrival at Ellis Island from the northern Italian town of Piacenza—was pretty much the complete package.

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