Every time you walk into Chef’s Restaurant, you can’t help but feel nostalgic. So many Buffalo locals have been sitting at those iconic red checkered tablecloths, trying to pick out who is in their vast collection of celebrity photos while tying on our giant bibs, for most of our lives. 


Chef’s, which opened in 1923 at the corner of Seneca and Chicago Street here in  Buffalo, New York, is a treasure to local Western New York foodies and tourists alike, The popular restaurant was bought from its original owners in 1954 by Lou Billittier who was originally hired at the hot spot as a dishwasher when he was 12-years-old. (times were different then, obviously). 

Less than a decade later, Billittier would come up with Chef’s crowd-favorite and most famous creation: their amazing spaghetti parmesan. 

Billittier and his good friend, former WKBW personality Dave Thomas, got the idea of covering a plate of linguini with tons of gooey mozzarella. However, after being concerned that the dish would come out too try after being put under the broiler, they decided to throw some of Chef’s famous pasta sauce underneath the cheese before they attempted to melt it. 

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(Also, sorry to break it to those Buffalo residents that count their calories, but they also threw in butter— and lots of it.)


The rest is delicious history, and Chef’s iconic spaghetti parm has become one of the most famous dishes that the city of Buffalo is known for besides the chicken wing. 

Here’s a sweet blast from the past of Thomas talking about how the idea for spaghetti parm originally came about (P.S. - did you know his son was the guy who played Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s boyfriend? You learn something new everyday.)

Speaking of blasts from the past, and learning something new about our interesting Buffalo history, we had no clue that this commercial was hiding in the vaults in Buffalo until the renowned restaurant started airing it on TV again recently– and boy, we are loving it!

Have You Seen The Chef Restaurant Ad Airing Lately?

We’ll admit that most millennials and Gen Z who hear something about “The Hanson Brothers” will picture those teens who sang “MmmBop” that preteen girls swooned over. However, if you were old enough to get into the R-rated comedy Slapshot back in 1977, you’ll immediately think of the goofy, hilarious Canadian main characters that starred in it.

Basically, if you haven’t seen the movie, it’s about a down and out minor league hockey team who just start beating the pulp out of their opponents and fans out of anger while yelling in Midwestern (or maybe Canadian) accents. We won't lie-- it's a pretty dumb film. But it's also amazing - especially if you’re a hockey fan.

(And we’re not the only ones who think so– Slapshot made $28 million at the box office– a lot for the 1970’s!). 

So what do the Hanson Brothers have to do with one of Buffalo’s most famous restaurants? 

WATCH: Vintage Chef’s TV Commercial Starring Hanson Brothers & Sabres Star

In 1997, Chef’s started bottling their fan-favorite sauce and selling it in stores and at the restaurant, and whoever came up with this genius idea to promote it deserves a local Emmy. 

The ad starring Slapshot’s hysterical trio, along with Buffalo Sabres veteran Rob Ray, aired on local Buffalo TV stations when the sauce was released in the late 1990’s. However, Chef’s began airing the ad again, most recently during this week’s Stanley Cup Finals, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. 

READ MORE: 7 Former Sabres Played In The Stanley Cup Finals

Watch the amazing ad below, and remember to put some Chef’s pasta sauce on your grocery list. 

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