Steve Bogart says he was a little embarrassed when the staff at Burlington’s A Single Pebble threw him a retirement party on Monday. Thirty-one days after leaving his acclaimed Chinese restaurant, Bogart, who is jobless for the first time since age 14, marvels at his newly relaxed state: “I can feel it moving up my back.”
But his back won’t be rested for long. After leaving the party, Bogart booked it to Brooklyn.
Why? To start his new career as a restaurant consultant. He’s helping former ASP sous-chef Josh Grinker bring the brand to Brooklyn. “Josh just put the deposit down on the space,” says Bogart. “He’s done a series of three tasting menus for investors.”
Grinker and his lifelong best friend and business partner, Josh Foster, are already in the New York City food biz. They own the Stone Park Café, which, Bogart notes, is one of only two restaurants in Brooklyn to garner two stars from the New York Times. Grinker and Foster’s new spot will consist of three dining rooms serving ASP recipes. Because Bogart no longer owns the Burlington eatery — “I’m really trying to live more and more like a Buddhist and not own anything,” he says — the urban branch will need its own moniker. The most likely names are A Little Pebble and Brooklyn Teahouse.
While in Brooklyn, Bogart will also spend time consulting with Chef George Wong, owner of the well-known Chopstix in Bay Ridge.
But the chef has plans beyond sharing his knowledge. During his stay in New York, he’ll meet with packaging manufacturers to find the perfect plastic bottle for his new line of 12 Chinese sauces.
Bogart hopes to spend most of his time as a semi-retiree at home in the small town of Worcester, though, he says, “I’ll have to get a job eventually.” But the far-seeing chef has a vision. He foresees turning his abode — which boasts a pagoda — into an Asian-themed bed and breakfast. What will he serve? “Dim sum in bed.”