Kelly Liken, one of Colorado’s most promising and influential young chefs, was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her mother was an outstanding cook, constantly exploring new recipes and seeking out fresh products at the local farmers market, which led Kelly to develop her love for cooking in high school. At 18, she landed a job preparing salads at an upscale seafood restaurant. “From the moment I stepped foot into a professional kitchen, I knew it was where I wanted to be…it was like an epiphany,” Kelly recalls. She went on to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where she graduated first in her class in 2002. She interned at the renowned Inn at Little Washington, outside of Washington, D.C., where Chef Patrick O’Connell introduced her to the techniques of refined American cuisine. After graduation, Kelly headed west to work at Splendido at the Château in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Her year-and-a-half tenure at the restaurant was significant, not only from a culinary perspective, but also because it was where she met her future husband, Rick Colomitz, who was working the front of the house. In 2004 she opened her own restaurant Kelly Liken, one of the state’s most sophisticated dining destinations, where the restaurant’s cosmopolitan décor and progressive American cuisine are reflections of the owner/chef’s personality Kelly is passionate about her adopted home state. Her menu reflects the incredible bounty of Colorado and a reverence for the seasons and she always uses local produce, meats and fish. Her loyal clientele relishes this approach, which ensures consistent freshness and endless variety.
- Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2005-2012
- AAA 4-Diamond Award, Restaurant Kelly Liken 2006-2012
- James Beard Award Semi-Finalist; Best Chef Southwest 2009, 2010, 2011
- Winner Wine Spectator Taste of Vail Bar Chef Mix-Off 2007, 2008
- Taste of Vail Lamb Cook-Off Winner 2010, 2011