Hector Boiardi was born in the Emilia-Romagna town of Piacenza in 1897, and working as an apprentice chef at a local hotel before he even reached his teen years. Hector came to America in 1914, and eventually became the head chef of New York’s famed Plaza Hotel. His clientele kept asking for the recipe for his tomato sauce, which caused him to create Chef Boyardee brand, a phonetic spelling of his surname.
In 1955 he started to offer boxed pizza kits which included everything you needed to make a pizza from scratch in your own home kitchen--a revolutionary idea at the time. Nowadays, companies like Blue Apron and others delivering similar complete menu kits to your door owe a nod to the pioneer of this meal marketing concept--Chef Boyardee.
The pizza kit contained a small packet of parsley, a can of sauce, some yeast and flour and a packet of parmesan cheese (no mozzarella). Sausage and pepperoni kits included the meat right in the can of sauce.