File under “Things That Make Us Sad”: SOS Chefs, the 15-year-old specialty shop that supplied chefs from Amanda Cohen to David Chang to Gabrielle Hamilton with hard-to-find ingredients, has closed.
Per EV Grieve, the shop’s shuttered facade on Avenue B bears a letter informing passersby of the closure. “We are going to take some time to discover new things, and to see what the next step may be in the evolution of SOS Chefs,” it reads. “It is difficult to do, but to keep the passion, we all need inspiration and adventure, something that has set SOS Chefs apart.”
Something else that set SOS Chefs apart was its fantastic interior, which — with its high shelves full of obscure spices, dried fruit, and myriad oils, and apothecary drawers stuffed full of flavored salts — more resembled some bygone North African market than anything tethered to modern-day Alphabet City. Going there was a trip both literal and sensory, and we will miss taking that journey. There’s no word if owner Atef Boulaabi will continue to operate SOS’s wholesale arm; what’s more certain is that Avenue B is now sorely lacking in Sicilian pistachios and fennel pollen.