From Plaza Hotel cook to Chef Boyardee

Born Hector Boiardi in northern Italy, the future inventor of Beefaroni immigrated to New York as a teenager around 1917.

His brother Paul worked as a waiter at one of the restaurants of the Plaza Hotel. He helped Hector get a job there as a cook.

In the 1920s Hector moved to Cleveland, where he opened his own Italian restaurant and also sold take-home versions of his pasta and sauces. Paul became a maitre d’hotel at the Plaza.

One night, A&P head John Hartford came to the Plaza for spaghetti. Paul Boiardi prepared him some based on Hector’s recipe, telling Hartford that his brother was trying to get a national line of Italian foods produced.

Hartford offered to help—and soon, the Chef Boyardee brand introduced Italian food to millions in the 1940s.

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3 Responses to “From Plaza Hotel cook to Chef Boyardee”

  1. History in the Making: Ain't It Strange Edition - The Bowery Boys Says:

    […] Chef Boyardee used to work at the Plaza Hotel. How’s that for trivia?! [Ephemeral NY] […]

  2. History in the Making: Ain't It Strange Edition - Bowery Boys: New York City History Says:

    […] Chef Boyardee used to work at the Plaza Hotel. How’s that for trivia?! [Ephemeral NY] […]

  3. What became of the first, short-lived Plaza Hotel | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] second Plaza Hotel, “with three stories composed of rusticated marble, the rest white glazed brick, all topped […]

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