In 2004 A16 opened, a neighborhood restaurant inspired by the cooking of Campania with an emphasis on certified VPN Neapolitan pizza. When she curated the wine list for A16, Shelley sought to showcase Italian wine beyond the well-known Barolos and Brunellos. A research trip that began in Naples quickly evolved into an exploration of southern Italy’s rural, family-run wineries that had remained otherwise unknown outside of the country. Driving from village to village while relying on paper maps, Shelley unearthed lesser-known grapes, such as Fiano di Avellino and Nerello Mascalese, which she returned with enthusiasm to share stateside. In 2015, Shelley received the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Wine Program” at A16. A member of Les Dames d’ Escoffier, Shelley’s involvement in the local community extends beyond the walls of her restaurants, and she serves as a board member of Guild Somm and Marin’s Slide Ranch. A16 Food + Wine, won “Cookbook of the Year” and “First Book/The Julia Child Award” at the 2009 IACP Cookbook Awards. In 2012, she co-authored her second book, SPQR: Modern Italian Food & Wine.
Shelley’s reputation as an industry pioneer and advocate for the wines of Italy was recognized in 2019, as she was recently knighted by the Consulate General of Italy in San Francisco receiving the "Cavaliere dell'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana" recognition. Also recognized as a Culinary Institute of America ambassador, Shelley was named “Best New Sommelier” by Wine & Spirits magazine; “Best Wine Director” by San Francisco magazine; and received Gourmet magazine’s Wine Educator Award and the Golden Goblet Award by the Association of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs. Shelley resides in San Francisco with her husband and two sons.