Campus Dining Celebrates Black History Month, February 21, 2023

Jan. 24, 2023

Join Campus Dining for a special presentation and food tasting!

Tuesday, February 21, 2023
2–3:30 p.m.
Frist MPR

In celebration of Black History Month, Campus Dining welcomes visiting chef and alumna Valerie Erwin '79 to campus.

Presentation begins at 2 p.m. followed by a Q&A and food tasting of crispy hoppin' John, breakfast salmon, cornbread, and sorrel!

Free to attend.


 Chef Valerie Erwin

Princeton alumna and Chef Valerie Erwin '79, in an orange shirt, leans against the counters in a wood and green accented kitchen.
Chef Valerie Erwin ’79

Valerie Erwin is a Philadelphia chef and social activist. For 12 years, until 2014, Valerie owned the critically acclaimed Geechee Girl Rice Cafe. Geechee Girl showcased the food of the Low Country—the coast of South Carolina and Georgia—where her grandparents were born. For two years Valerie was the General Manager of EAT Café, a West Philadelphia neighborhood restaurant with an innovative pay-what-you-can model. Since 2020, Valerie has been the program manager of Farm to Families, a produce access program of St Christopher’s Foundation for Children.

Valerie believes in the power of food as a tool in the pursuit of social justice. As such, she has worked for several years with Cristina Martinez and Ben Miller in the fight for rights for undocumented restaurant workers and with the People’s Kitchen, and with Restaurant Opportunities Center, an advocacy organization for food industry employees.

Valerie has served on the board of the Southern Foodways Alliance—the country’s premier institution for the study of food and culture. She now serves on the board of C-CAP, a culinary scholarship program for high school students, and on the board of the Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network, an anti-homelessness organization.

When not at work, she spends her time catering, doing business consulting, and working on food related projects with cultural institutions such as the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Jazz Project.