Ricky’s Lucky Nuts: Durango Chef Gives the Peanut Respect

ricky's lucky nutsIt started with a handwritten peanut recipe shared between friends.

Restaurateur/chef Paul Gelose was instructing his team on how to make the delicious peanut recipe given to him by his friend and fellow chef Rick.

“One asked me ‘What’s the name of the recipe?’” Gelose says. “Ricky’s Lucky Nuts” was the semi-sarcastic reply. But as Gelose recalls, “When those words came out it was a light bulb moment” and the inspiration to start the Durango-based company in 2006.

spicy chile chipotle nuts
These peanuts are hot and good!

Fast forward a few years, add in three more signature recipes and a marketing campaign to put the peanut back in style, and you have Ricky’s Lucky Nuts, a company that caters to nut-fanatics nationwide.

Ricky’s specializes in gourmet, seasoned peanuts. The all-natural, simple blend of salt, sugar and spices coating the dry-roasted, jumbo runner peanuts makes Ricky’s product stand out.

“We took the all-American peanut that no one has looked at in decades… and turned it into something unique,” Gelose says.

In a market filled with specialty nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, the peanut has largely been overlooked, so Gelose and his business partner wife, Carolyn Lamb, aim to cater to peanut lovers and even the culinary adventurous.

“We use the peanut as a medium for the spices,” Gelose says of the blends that come from around the world. The spices act as a carrier for the peanut as well, he says, creating that “sensation they get in the mouth, combining the world of spices and the peanut.”

Ricky’s Lucky Nuts consists of four signature tastes that make up the Savory Line. The Original started it all, with a perfect balance of salty and sweet, which Gelose refers to as the Yin-Yang of the company’s peanut line.bombay curry coconut nuts

Next is Spicy Chile Chipotle, a “salty, sweet with a kick” blend that uses smoked red jalapeno powder.

Finally, Ricky’s Bombay Curry Coconut selection collides super sweet with fiery hot in exotic coconut and Indian curry flavors.

In April 2010, Ricky’s will launch a new line Gelose calls its “morning blend.” First off the line will be Cocoa & Vanilla Bean, flavored with cocoa from Peru and organic vanilla extract.

To extend the peanut’s influence, Ricky’s Lucky Nuts packaging also includes fun recipes that use the peanut as a key ingredient.

“I wanted to create a profile of recipes from appetizers to desserts and candies and everything in between,” Gelose says.

As a chef with an extensive background in international cuisine and owner of the Palace Restaurant in Durango, Gelose knows how to design the right dishes to use Ricky’s Lucky Nuts in their full-spiced glory.

With a taste experience that gets people hooked, it’s easy to see (and taste) that each of Ricky’s Lucky Nuts is “A Nut Like No Other.”

black pepper and salt nuts
The Black Pepper & Salt peanut uses the spice of pepper, the “Black Gold” from Southeastern India, to compliment the peanut’s taste.

If You Go

Ricky’s Lucky Nuts
1099 Main Ave., Suite 105
Durango, Colorado 81301
970-382-2264 or 888-756-6887

The Palace Restaurant
505 Main Ave.
Durango, Colorado 81301

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