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Whose wedding did the real Chef Boyardee cater?

If you’re a food enthusiast, you might have heard of Chef Boyardee. Known for his famous line of canned pasta and sauces, Chef Boyardee is a household name in the United States. But do you know who Chef Boyardee really was, and what made him so legendary?

In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating details of the life of Chef Boyardee and explore the famous catering gig that cemented his reputation as one of the greatest chefs of his time.

The Legend of Chef Boyardee

Chef Boyardee, born as Ettore Boiardi on October 22, 1897, was an Italian-American chef and entrepreneur. He came to the United States in 1914 along with his family and settled in New York City.

Boiardi began his cooking career at a very young age. He was only 11 years old when he started working at a restaurant in New York City’s Little Italy. Boiardi was a natural cook, and soon his culinary skills were so impressive that he was offered a job at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

Boiardi worked his way up the ranks at the Plaza Hotel and was eventually promoted to head chef. He became famous for his delicious Italian dishes and his exquisite catering skills. In 1924, Boiardi decided to start his own restaurant, which he named Il Giardino d’Italia (The Garden of Italy).

The restaurant was an instant success and soon became a favorite among New Yorkers. Boiardi’s signature dishes were spaghetti and meatballs and lasagna, which were enjoyed by patrons from all walks of life. However, it was Chef Boyardee’s catering skills that set him apart from other chefs of his time.

President Woodrow Wilson’s Wedding Reception

Chef Boyardee’s catering skills became legendary after he was hired to cater the wedding reception of President Woodrow Wilson. The reception was held at The Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, in December 1915.

Chef Boyardee was tasked with preparing an elaborate meal for the president and his guests. He spent days planning the menu, taking into account the president’s preferences and the dietary restrictions of his guests.

On the day of the wedding reception, Chef Boyardee and his staff worked tirelessly to prepare the meal. The menu included a variety of dishes, including lobster, prime rib, chicken, oysters, and various salads. The guests were impressed with the quality and taste of the food, and Chef Boyardee’s reputation as a master chef and caterer was sealed.

The Legacy of Chef Boyardee

Chef Boyardee’s catering gig at President Wilson’s wedding reception catapulted him to fame. He became a household name, and his Italian food products, including canned pasta and sauces, became popular across the country.

Although Chef Boyardee passed away in 1985, his legacy lives on. Today, the Chef Boyardee brand is owned by Conagra Brands and continues to be a favorite among customers of all ages.


Chef Boyardee was an extraordinary chef and a culinary icon of his time. His famous catering gig at President Wilson’s wedding reception cemented his reputation as a master chef and a skilled caterer.

Although his name is synonymous with canned pasta and sauces, Chef Boyardee’s legacy goes far beyond that. He was a true legend in the culinary world, and his contributions to the food industry will always be remembered.


Is Chef Boyardee based on a real person?

Yes, Chef Boyardee is actually based on a real person. The man behind the iconic image of the jovial mustached chef was Ettore Boiardi, who was also known as Hector Boiardi. Ettore Boiardi was born in Italy in 1897 and as a young man, he trained as a cook. In 1914, he immigrated to the United States along with his brothers and settled in Cleveland, Ohio, which had a large Italian-American community at the time.

Boiardi found work as a cook at the Cleveland Hotel, where he quickly gained a reputation for his exceptional culinary skills. His spaghetti sauce, in particular, became a hit with hotel guests and local residents alike. Encouraged by his success, Boiardi decided to open his own restaurant, Il Giardino d’Italia, in 1926.

It was at this restaurant that the signature dish that would eventually make Boiardi famous was born. Boiardi created a hearty beef ravioli that quickly became a hit with his customers. Eventually, business began to boom, and in 1928, Boiardi and his brothers decided to take their pasta sauce and canned ravioli national by forming a company, Chef Boy-Ar-Dee.

The company initially produced only spaghetti sauce and three varieties of canned pasta, consisting of beef ravioli, chicken ravioli, and spaghetti and meatballs. In the early days, Boiardi was directly involved in the production of his products, and his image was used in branding and advertising campaigns.

In the years that followed, Chef Boyardee products became ubiquitous in American grocery stores, and the image of the friendly mustached chef became an iconic part of American popular culture. Ettore Boiardi continued to oversee the company’s operations until he retired in 1978. He died in 1985, but his legacy lives on in the form of the canned pasta and spaghetti sauces that bear his name to this day.

So, to sum up, Chef Boyardee is indeed based on a real person – Ettore Boiardi – who immigrated to the United States from Italy and went on to become hugely successful in the food industry, creating the iconic canned pasta and spaghetti sauce that bear his name.

What is the story behind Chef Boyardee?

Chef Boyardee is a well-known Italian food brand that has been around for nearly 100 years, but what is the story behind it? The brand was created by a man named Ettore Boiardi, who was born in Italy in 1897. Boiardi immigrated to the United States in 1914, when he was just 17 years old. He settled in Cleveland, Ohio, where he began working in a restaurant as a line cook.

Boiardi’s cooking skills were exceptional, and he quickly became known for his delicious, homemade Italian food. In fact, his food was so popular that customers began asking him for his recipes, particularly his spaghetti sauce. Boiardi began to sell his sauce in milk bottles, which he would give to customers who asked for it.

It didn’t take long for Boiardi’s spaghetti sauce to gain recognition, and in 1924, he opened his own restaurant with his wife, Helen. The restaurant was called Il Giardino d’Italia (The Garden of Italy), and it was an instant success. The restaurant was soon serving hundreds of customers each day, and Boiardi began to consider ways to expand his business.

In 1928, Boiardi decided to open a factory to produce his spaghetti sauce, which he renamed Chef Boy-Ar-Dee (using an Americanized version of his last name). The factory was located in Milton, Pennsylvania, where Boiardi could grow his own tomatoes and mushrooms to use in his products. The Chef Boyardee brand was an instant success, and soon Boiardi was shipping his products all over the United States.

Over the years, Chef Boyardee has expanded its product line to include a wide variety of canned pastas, sauces, and other Italian-inspired dishes. Today, Chef Boyardee is a household name, and the brand is still known for its high quality and delicious products. The story of Chef Boyardee is a testament to the power of hard work, dedication, and a passion for good food.

Did Chef Boyardee work at the Greenbrier Resort?

Yes, it is well documented that Chef Boyardee, whose real name was Hector Boiardi, worked at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. Hector Boiardi was an iconic chef and restaurateur who is best known for his packaged Italian food products, including canned pasta, spaghetti sauce, and pizza, which are still widely popular today.

Boiardi began his culinary career in Italy and emigrated to the United States in 1914. In 1915, he was hired as the head chef at the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, which was a popular resort destination for wealthy guests and political elites. At the Greenbrier, Boiardi was responsible for creating upscale Italian cuisine for the resort’s high-profile clientele.

One notable event that Boiardi catered while at the Greenbrier was the wedding reception of President Woodrow Wilson to Edith Bolling Wilson in 1915. Boiardi’s culinary skills and attention to detail were highly praised by the guests, and his success at the Greenbrier helped to launch his career as a celebrity chef.

After leaving the Greenbrier, Boiardi opened his own restaurant, which quickly became a hotspot for celebrities and politicians. He also began selling his packaged food products, which were an instant success. Today, Chef Boyardee is still a popular brand of packaged Italian food products, and Boiardi remains a beloved figure in the world of culinary arts.