Anna Boiardi – Woman of Substance : In Good Taste

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 I hope to inspire people to cook, to create their own traditions and to slow down a little and connect—and there is no better way than sharing a meal.”

Styling by: Ashley Elizabeth Barone

With a cookbook, a line of cookware, a cooking academy, and now a television show, Anna Boiardi isn’t just slaving away in the kitchen. As the granddaughter of Mario Boiardi and the greatniece of Hector Boiardi, Italian cooking is in her blood—but bringing it to a whole new audience is what establishes her as a successful businesswoman.

The “Chef Boyardee” story is a simple one: Hector and Mario Boiardi, both Italian immigrants, moved to New York in the early 1900s and began working in kitchen of the famed Plaza Hotel, and later opened a restaurant in Cleveland. When restaurant patrons began asking for their homemade sauces, pastas and chesses. They launched the The Chef Boiardi Food Products Co. in 1928—and changed the spelling to “Boyardee” making it easier for Americans to pronounce.

Fully inheriting both this entrepreneurial spirit and the culinary skills, Anna has taken her own company to the next level. She was born in Piacenza, Italy in a region known for tortellini, parmigiano-reggiano cheese and pasta e fagioli. She later moved to the U.S. and grew up in New Jersey, eventually coming to New York.

Growing up in an Italian family of chefs was bound to have an influence on Anna. Though she earned a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Denver, her cooking skills came from learning the old fashioned way—cooking at home with her mother and grandparents, passing down family recipes from generations before.

“My grandfather and his brothers introduced a lot of Americans to Italian food. Food was not just their business, it was their passion, and that passion has been passed down to each generation. I am staying true to my heritage and making my own in the food world,” Anna says.


Six years ago Anna launched Cucina Academy in her Tribeca loft and began to teach some of her friends to make simple dishes and encouraged them to turn on their own ovens and give it a whirl. She recently penned her first book, Delicious Memories Recipes and Stories from the Chef Boyardee Family, a cookbook/memoir published by Abrams- Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Within it she shares long kept family stories, photographs and secrets and gives readers her own twist on classic dishes with timesaving tips for today’s on-the-go lifestyle.

“I wrote my cookbook so that people would know that not only was there a real family behind the brand but that the family had a very serious culinary history. I hope to inspire people to cook, to create their own traditions and to slow down a little and connect—and there is no better way than sharing a meal.”

This year, Anna will also be debuting her cookware collection and an online food business—all of this while caring for her 2-year-old son Jack IV, and husband of five years, Jack McCue. The cookware line will be sold on QVC and the first product is a low-pressure cooker. Chef’s Crate – is the online business and allows a customer to take a profile quiz based on likes and attributes before customized pasta and sauce will be delivered on a monthly basis to their homes.

Though cooking seems to come naturally to Anna, her newest venture into the world of reality TV brings her a bit out of her comfort zone, but it is a great way to share her cooking knowledge. She stars in Taste of NYC, which premiers on the E! Network this spring, following five New Yorkers who are involved in the food world.

“It’s been a very unique experience for me but its another way for me to inspire people to start cooking.”


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