Preparing and sharing food has been a life-long passion for Shelley Sikora. Drawing upon her family’s Sicilian roots, Shelley has used that passion to conceive and launch unique restaurant concepts while writing and teaching others about her style of cooking. She has a proven successful track record as an entrepreneur, published author and broadcast host. She has shared her passion for delicious food through her cookbooks and television cooking show.
Beginning in the late 1980’s and continuing through 2005, Shelley and her ex-husband operated dozens of full-service restaurants across eight states and franchised in Australia under the Bobby McGee’s USA & Bobby McGee’s of Arizona brands.
While she helped managed the restaurant empire, she conceived and launched a smoothie bar franchisor, Juice Works. After developing the brand, recipes, menus and even sales and training materials, the entire operation was purchased by national yogurt franchisor, TCBY.
But Shelley’s biggest project was yet to come. Based on national research and taste tests in barbecue capitols across the country, Sikora launched a new 10,000 sq. ft. restaurant concept, BOBBY Q GREAT STEAKS AND REAL BBQ, located in Phoenix, Arizona. Shelley’s creative menu treatment of classic barbeque entrees were quickly praised by customers and critics alike. Customers patiently waited for seating while the awards rolled in: “Best Food” at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s Great Arizona Picnic 2006, as well as “Best New Restaurant” in Phoenix Magazine and “Best BBQ” by AOL City Search among others.
Shelley has sustained her passion for food by sharing her culinary knowledge with readers and viewers. Her first published cookbook, “An Italian Affair” was released in December, 2002. As a second generation Sicilian, Shelley literally grew up in the kitchen learning to cook and bake from her mother whose treasured recipes are included in the book. In 2006, her second cookbook “100 Tantalizing Ways to Make Tomatoes & Mozzarella” was released by Harvard Common Press. That same year, she was one of 34 U.S. chefs chosen to appear in the 2006 IACP cookbook, “For the Love of Food”.
Shelley is also as comfortable in front of the camera as she is over the stove. She created, produced and hosted her own TV cooking show, “Home Plates”, broadcast on Phoenix CBS affiliate, KPHO Channel 5. She frequently appears as a guest on many other local and national TV and Radio programs.
In addition to her business success, Shelley has been recognized with a certificate of appreciation for her work with community activities, such as Wine, Women and Jazz. She maintains membership with the Scottsdale League for the Arts.
Shelley’s success as a chef, businesswoman, author, host, instructor and community volunteer continues the teaching tradition through her cooking classes conducted at Sur La Table, Kitchen Classics and Sweet Basil Gourmet.
Shelley’s Favorite Things: