One of the best not so secret, secrets is SOS Chefs in the East Village. Tucked away on a quiet street downtown this food market is so much more than just oils and spices. Known for their wide variety of fresh mushrooms and specialty items you can’t get anywhere else, its no wonder that some of the best chefs in the country go here to shop for their supplies. Atef Boulaabi, the owner is just as passionate as she is knowledgeable about each and every item in her store. She’ll take you through every salt, spice, flavored water and oil and tell you about where it comes from, how to use it and give you a taste or a sniff to see for yourself. The store itself will make you feel like you’re in Morocco, and everything in the store is as fresh and flavorful as the products in the souks. If you have the intention of going into this store to buy just one item, it probably won’t work out for you. As you enter the narrow yet beautifully designed store you’ll see that every item on those shelves is something that you want or are intrigued by. If you want to cook like the chefs the best way to do that is to shop like the chefs, ingredients are everything after all. Whenever I’m unsure of what to cook or lacking exciting ideas, I take a trip to SOS and find myself leaving with plenty of inspiration, and the start of a beautifully vibrant and composed menu.
104 Avenue B
New York, NY 10009