Chef Boyardee was a real man, but he spelled his last name a little different from what you see on the cans of his pasta in sauce. Ettore "Hector" Boiardi was born in Italy and immigrated to Cleveland in 1914. In 1924 he opened a restaurant there by the name of Il Giardino d'Italia, and it was a smash hit. Customers constantly asked him for his recipe, and four years later he decided to can his top-selling spaghetti and sell it that way as well. He opened a factory, changed the name to Boyardee to make it easier to pronounce, and the rest is history.