My Chef Boyardee Experience: A Cautionary Tale

I have memories from my early youth about eating Chef Boyardee products dating back to my early childhood, when we were very poor and sometimes had noodles with ketchup when we couldn’t afford Chef Boyardee.

Those are not among my fondest memories…so it beggars a ready explanation as to why I sometimes inflict Chef Boyardee upon myself now that I am myself a chef of sorts and know the difference between food and traif.

From this day forward until the end of time, you (my most significant other) are hereby instructed, upon pain of my never cracking another joke ever again, to never NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER permit me to purchase, acquire, beg, borrow, steal, bring into the house, cook or consume any food item with the words CHEF BOYARDEE ON ITS LABEL

The “Overstuffed Ravioli with Italian Sausage” I ate today was absolutely beyond a shadow of a doubt the worst food item I have ever put into my mouth. My tongue hates me. My taste buds hate me, my teeth hate me, my throat hates me, my esophagus hates me, my stomach hates me and my bowels hate me. (The bowels in particular because they have to wait eight hours to get that shipment. Imagine the negative anticipation!)

That shit was worse than the shit they served you at Momma Mia that time, the stuff that looked like noodles with diarrhea.

I vehemently apologize for inflicting that shit on myself voluntarily. I think I would rather starve to death in a warehouse full of Chef Boyardee products than eat anything coming out of one of those cans.

It takes ten minutes to make fresh ravioli with brown butter sauce and, come to think of it, I don’t even like gourmet ravioli. I don’t think I have ever ordered ravioli in a restaurant, have I?


Fuck, I could have eaten raw Nathan’s hot dogs and made a better lunch than I stuffed down my throat today. 

You are hereby absolutely enjoined against EVER purchasing anything made by that dead asshole or allowing me to purchase or consume such products and hereby empowered to have the locks changed without giving me the key if I EVER bring that shit back into the house again.

(For those of you who don’t know, Chef Boyardee was a real person, an Italian immigrant named  Ettore Boiardi, who – believe it or not – was the head chef of the Plaza Hotel in New York City until 1924 when he opened his own restaurant in Pennsylvania. During World War II, his company produced 250,000 cans of pasta in sauce PER DAY that went into the rations of US and Allied soldiers. The shit now sold under his name was probably concocted by someone else, probably in the commissary command of the United States Army. There’s no record of any Chef Boyardee product ever being delivered to the Navy. That’s why people joined the Navy. Their food was always better.)