Meet ‘Salt Bae,’ the Turkish Chef Whose Signature Move Made Him an Internet Sensation

 

 

A Turkish chef named Nusret Gökçe has become an Internet phenomenon after he posted an Instagram video of himself stripping and slicing a steak and then fancifully throwing salt onto it.

Since then, he’s been dubbed “Salt Bae” and video of him dusting the cut of meat has been transformed into gifs. More than 10 million people have watched his Instagram video.

“I’m the happiest man in the world,” Gökçe told NBC News from Dubai. “So far, we’ve been the conversation.”

He’s even caught the attention of Leonardo DiCaprio.

“He was impressed with Mr. Nusret,” Gökçe’s manager Noyan Ersolmaz told NBC News.

Ersolmaz said Gökçe performed a cutting show for DiCaprio and provided him with a personalized menu.

Image: Nusret Gökçe
Nusret Gökçe sprinkles salt on a steak. @nusr_et / via Instagram
Gökçe explains that what’s attracted so many people to his restaurants is how he prepares his meal. And that was what he captured in his Instagram food post.

“The shape of the meat and the taste of it starting from the top down is a part of me,” he explains. “All of my feelings are coming from inside of the meat down to when I put the salt onto the meat.”

Gökçe, 34, owns a chain of steakhouses called Nusr-et in Turkey and in the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. He has also started construction in Riyadh, and plans to open up more locations in London, Berlin and New York.

He said he purposely put the hyphen in his name for “et” to highlight the word for “meat” in Turkish. “Nusret” means victory.

Gökçe credits his work ethic for his success. He only went primary school up until he was 5 years old — he didn’t have the financial means to continue school, and said he grew up in poverty.

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