Tracey Shepos Cenami, Chef/Cheese Specialist
Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens
After graduating from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Shepos headed to New York, working under Chef Michael Romano at Union Square Cafe as a tournant for two years. Returning to San Francisco, she served as lead line cook at 2223, then became opening consulting chef at Fly Bar and Restaurant. She ran her own catering business followed by sous chef positions at Lulu Catering and Harvest Grill.
In 2002, Shepos participated in opening Willi’s Wine Bar in Santa Rosa. Over the next six years Tracey assisted in the opening of three more restaurants for Stark Reality as the Executive Chef de Cuisine of the company, as well as the furthered expansion of Stark Reality Catering. In late 2009, she resigned from the company to pursue chef consulting opportunities, as well as to become a certified Artisan Cheesemaker.
Tracey strives to combine local ingredients that are both new and unusual with classic cooking techniques to create updated comfort foods. Her specialties are Mediterranean, particularly Italian and Spanish. She is committed to supporting local Sonoma County farms and dairies. Currently, Tracey is in charge of the Wine & Cheese pairing program at Jackson Family Wines.
Grilled Corn & Squash Bruschetta
Pairs with Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay
This bruschetta is a wonderful summertime appetizer. The buttery, decadent cheese pairs perfectly with the firm acidity and creamy texture of the Grand Reserve Chardonnay.
8 ounces soft, Brie style cheese (Mt. Tam or Saint Andre recommended)
5 ounces zucchini (approximately 4 baby zucchini), thinly sliced lengthwise
½ red onion, cut in ½-inch rings
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 ear yellow corn, husk removed
1 lemon, halved
1 tsp. kosher salt
4 (1-inch thick) slices hearty bread
4 squash blossoms, stems removed
Preheat the grill to medium heat. Remove cheese from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature.
In a bowl, toss zucchini and onion with garlic, 1 teaspoon oregano and 1 tablespoon oil. Grill zucchini, along with the corn and lemon until browned.
Cut corn off the cob and chop the onion. Combine corn, zucchini, onion, 1 tablespoon oil, remaining oregano and salt. Squeeze juice from ½ lemon into the mixture.
Brush bread with remaining oil and grill until just beginning to char, but not burnt. The bread should be toasty on the outside and still chewy in the center. Grill squash blossoms just to wilting, approximately 10-15 seconds per side.
While the bread is warm, spread with the cheese. Top each piece of bread with a squash blossom and then the corn and zucchini mixture. Garnish serving plate with remaining lemon half.