David Chang’s ‘Shroom Dealer Returns, Offering 100 Types of Honey

sos chef 2Dana Varinsky Atef Boulaabi.

A specialty food shop that counted local chefs David Chang of Momofuku and Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune as fans will reopen next month.

Before closing a little over a year ago, S.O.S. Chefs sold high-end imported spices and gourmet products like truffles and rare mushrooms to “some of the most renowned restaurants and chefs in the world,” as none other than Martha Stewart put it. In the Momofuku cookbook, David Chang said he improvised his roasted mushroom salad after going there to pick up some truffles and instead buying Turkish pistachios, hon shimiji and king oyster mushrooms, fleur de sel, and pistachio oil.  He’s gotten bay leaves there, too.

Atef Boulaabi, the owner, said S.O.S. Chefs 2020, as its new incarnation will be called, will have more of a retail focus. “Before we were chef, chef, chef,” she said, noting that 80 percent of her business was wholesale.

sos chefs 3Dana Varinsky Adam Berkowitz at S.O.S. Chefs

When she and her husband, Adam Berkowitz, closed the 17-year-old business in May 2011, they left a note on the door that read, “We are going to take some time to discover new things.” Sure enough, they spent the next year traveling with their young sons through Morocco, Costa Rica, the United States and Tunisia, where Ms. Boulaabi was born.

She and Mr. Berkowitz began distilling fruits and flowers such as rose, geranium and vanilla, subjecting them to high heat in a distilling machine that collects the evaporated essence for flavoring. She plans to eventually do weekly in-store distillations, which she described as taking “the guts out of the fruit or flower.”

In addition to the oils, nuts and spices her store has always been known for, Ms. Boulaabi plans to sell flavored popcorn, light snacks, and over 100 types of honey from around the world, categorized like wines by their flower and place of origin.

She still plans to cater to chefs, as well. Instead of hosting an opening celebration in the small retail space at 104 Avenue B, she intends to invite chefs to come see the new offerings individually.