Charless Grilling Systems signs Kelly Liken to endorsement deal |

Charless Grilling Systems signs Kelly Liken to endorsement deal

Chef Kelly Liken, center, has joined local entrepreneurs and inventors Jan Strauch, left, and his wife Deborah Worley in launching their Charless Grilling Systems. The premium grills should be available next spring.
Special to the Daily |

Charless Grilling Systems

For more information about Charless Grilling Systems, visit

VAIL — Chef Kelly Liken has joined Charless Grilling Systems.

The locally based company was founded by Jan Eric Strauch, who also invented the system. Liken will act as the company spokesperson and festival events coordinator.

“This is really a great opportunity to establish and expand my own Kelly Liken Hospitality Brand in the luxury life-style product arena,” Liken said. “I’m so excited to be associated with this amazing new company. Its innovative grills raise outdoor cooking to an unprecedented level of culinary excellence.”

The premium priced grills will be offered in both gas and charcoal models, with an anticipated national launch next spring.

Charless Grilling Systems has patented a new vertical-grilling technology that eliminates flare-ups, the most common complaint with current competitive brands, Strauch said. The result is much-improved flavor, expanded range of food preparation, and a significant reduction in carcinogenic deposits.

Support Local Journalism

“Our innovative technology elevates outdoor cooking to a whole new plateau,” Strauch said. “My business partner and wife, Deborah Worley, and I have always wanted to bring in a celebrity chef to add creative flair and a contemporary taste profile to our recipes. Kelly’s epicurean brilliance, energy, vision and contacts make her an incredible catch.”

Unwanted Flames

Strauch conceived the technology after years of battling unwanted flames erupting from his Weber grill.

“I found this a fairly common problem in further research and among my friends,” Strauch said. “Everyone thought that’s just how grills are supposed to work and flames were preventable with a spray bottle or by moving the food around.”

Strauch was the owner and chef of his own Vail restaurant and a self-proclaimed foodie, and said there had to be a better way. Charless promises that and more, he said.

Liken is a James Beard nominee for Best Chef Southwest (2009, 2010, and 2011), and has earned national recognition. She has been featured in Bon Appetit as one of the emerging female chefs to watch in the country and competed on “Iron Chef America” and “Top Chef.”

Liken graduated first in her class in 2002 from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. She interned at the celebrated Inn at Little Washington outside D.C., under Chef Patrick O’Connell.

After 18 months at Splendido at the Chateau in Beaver Creek, and at the age of 27, Liken scratched her entrepreneurial itch and opened Restaurant Kelly Liken. After 11 years, she sold her restaurant.

“I am actively seeking a next adventure and am delighted to be working with Jan and Deborah, Liken said. “It is going to be so much fun participating in their company plans and unbelievable growth potential.”

Support Local Journalism