Kelly's career took off at the Red Cat when Charles Phan noticed her in 1996. Phan hired her as the pastry chef at the Slanted Door restaurant, which has been featured in Gourmet magazine. In 2007, she took over as chef de cuisine. Kelly has also been the executive chef at Rooftop and the consulting chef at Port Costa's Bull Valley Roadhouse. Kelly's appearance on Iron Chef America with Phan in a Season 7 episode focused on several recipes with almonds. Kelly is now the executive chef at Sun Basket.
- Lucchesi, Paolo (January 13, 2014). "Slanted Door vet Justine Kelly is the new chef at the Battery". SF Gate.
- Helstosky, Carol (2014). The Routledge History of Food. New York: Routledge. pp. 314, 316. ISBN 0415628474.
- Hare, Sara (June 2015). "Weekly Dish: Another Hot Chef!". Diablo Magazine.
- Nguyen, Andrea (November 9, 2009). "Charles Phan vs. Cat Cora on Iron Chef America: Battle Almond". Viet World Kitchen.