val movie premiere

Val's Story

Valerie James, more fondly known as Val, has been the sole owner and operator of Val's Restaurant in Holden, Massachusetts since 1991. The restaurant started as a small storefront pizzeria to today, a full-fledged restaurant with two lounges, function room and patio. Val's love of bringing people together over good food and hospitality began from a girl working by her parent's side in the restaurant industry. As Val grew up and honed her skills she decided to open her own pizzeria as a 22-year-old and within the next eight years had opened and sold six pizzerias before settling at her flagship location in Holden in 1991. Over the course of nearly 30 years as a leader in the restaurant industry, Val and her team has been awarded countless accolades and press, including: Best Seafood Restaurant, Best Family Restaurant, Best Function Room and inducted into organizations including Les Amis d'Escoffier and Les Dames d'Escoffier.

a fine line

A Fine Line

Val stars in an award-winning documentary, A Fine Line, which explores why less than 7% of head chefs and restaurant owners are women. She is amongst world renowned culinary talent, including: Dominique Crenn, Lidia Bastianich, Barbara Lynch and many more. You can learn more about the film and Val's history within the industry, especially as a trailblazer for diversity and women leadership at When Val isn't expediting on the line, making her famous soups or her favorite part joining guests in the dining room – she enjoys running after her three granddaughters, traveling with family bringing back inspiration to her restaurant or spending time on the boat with good friends.

What The Fans Say

Lucille Andaloro

"Dear Val. I saw your amazing story on PBS last night and felt compelled to write you. Congratulations on your success story. With all the obstacles thrown your way you could have quit, but you forged on. You are a true role model. Continued success. I will be sure to visit your restaurant if I'm ever in the area."

Stili Klikizos

"Omg, what an extraordinary film! I just saw it on PBS (middle of the night, couldn't sleep) and was blown away. It is so well-done, so well-crafted. Amongst the many female chefs featured in the film, Val shines as the true hero (they are all heroes, but her story is the most compelling). What an amazing woman, chef, mother, yiayia, restauranteur, mentor, boss, human being! Thank you for uplifting me in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis, thank you for sharing this wonderful story. Thank you for highlighting female chefs so comprehensively. The entire film is so relatable to me personally, for many reasons. I plan on sharing this with friends and family, and hopefully, will visit your restaurant one day in the future! It's a long way from Milwaukee to Holden, but well worth the road trip or flight! Joanna James, thank you for sharing your talents and your mom with all of us in such a lovely way! Best regards, Stili Klikizos, Milwaukee, WI"