Valerie Erwin is a longtime Philadelphia chef who, for 12 years, owned the critically acclaimed Geechee Girl Rice Cafe. She specializes in the food of the Low Country—the coast of South Carolina and Georgia—where her grandparents were born. During its tenure, Geechee Girl was featured in every major Philadelphia publication including the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia Magazine.
Valerie is particularly interested in the intersection of food and culture. She serves on the board of the Southern Foodways Alliance—the country’s premier institution for the study of food and culture. She serves also on the board of Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network, a service and advocacy organization that serves Philadelphia’s homeless families.
Since her restaurant closed in 2014, Valerie has spent her time working on food related projects with cultural institutions such as the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Jazz Project, and working with food justice organizations in Philadelphia.
Valerie is excited to bring her talents, love of food, and passion for community to the EAT Café.
Center for Hunger-free Communities Deputy Director
Victoria Egan is the Deputy Director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities. She oversees the business administration and operations of all the Center’s work, including the EAT Café. Victoria provides support for café partnership development, fundraising, financial management, human resources and other administration. She has worked for the Center since 2010, and helped to steward the EAT Café from idea to reality. She is excited for the EAT Café to open its doors, bring community together for healthy meals and fellowship, and ultimately expand its scope to meet the community’s vision and needs.