Nusret Gökçe

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Nusret Gökçe (born in 1983), nicknamed Salt Bae, is a Turkish butcher, chef,[1] and restaurateur. He owns Nusr-Et[2][3], a chain of steak houses. He became famous for his technique of preparing and seasoning meat, which is also an Internet meme.[2][4][5]

Personal life[change | change source]

Gökçe was born in Erzurum, Turkey. His family is Kurdish.[6][7] His father worked in a mine. Due to financial constraints of his family, he had to leave school at the 6th grade. He started working as a butcher's apprentice in Kadıköy district, Istanbul.[8]

Gökçe is also known for his charitable work. He built a school in his hometown of Erzurum.[9]

As an internet meme[change | change source]

Gökçe became famous from a series of viral Internet videos and memes. The videos show him "suavely" cutting meat and sprinkling salt.[2]

His fame came from a viral video, "Ottoman Steak", posted on 7 January 2017.[10] The video exceeded 10 million views on Instagram. He was nicknamed "Salt Bae" because of his particular way of salting meat: dropping it from his fingertips to his forearm, and then falling onto the dish.[2] Due to the fame gained from this post, Gökçe's profile has expanded enormously. His restaurants, as well and Nusret himself, have served many celebrities and politicians.[11][4]

Restaurants[change | change source]

Gökçe has visited several countries, including Argentina and the United States between 2007 and 2010. There he worked in local restaurants for free, in order to gain experience as a cook and a restaurateur.[8] After his return to Turkey, Gökçe opened his first restaurant in Istanbul in 2010[12]. In 2014, he opened a restaurant in Dubai.[13]

The dishes served at Gökçe's restaurants have received mixed reviews and have been described as "overpriced".[11][14] Early professional reviews in 2018 of his New York City steakhouse were generally negative.[15][16] The New York Post's Steve Cuozzo called the restaurant "Public Rip-off No. 1". In an article on GQ, Joshua David Stein called the steak mundane and the hamburgers overcooked.[15] However, from an entertainment standpoint, reviews were more positive.[17]

In December 2017, he received criticism for a photo posing in front of an image of Fidel Castro, which was taken in 2016.[18][1] In September 2018, Gökçe and the president of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro also received criticism for their actions at Gökçe's Istanbul restaurant. The reason was the latter's perceived insensitivity to the crisis and shortages in Venezuela.[19][20][21][22][23]

As of 2019, Nusr-Et chain has branches in the following countries:

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Frias, Carlos (3 December 2017). "'Salt Bae' caught posing as Fidel Castro — and he just opened a Miami restaurant". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Who the Hell is Salt Bae?". TheWrap. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  3. "Nicolás Maduro desata críticas por comer en lujoso restaurante de Salt Bae en Estambul" (in Spanish). CNN en Español. 18 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Tsuji, Alysha (14 February 2017). "Simone Biles happily had food seasoned by 'the one and only' Salt Bae at Laureus Awards". USA Today. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  5. Miller, Jenni. "Everything You Need to Know About #SaltBae". Nymag.com.
  6. "Rudaw, Nusret'in ailesiyle röportaj yaptı". Ensonhaber.com.
  7. "Meşhur Nusret Kürt çıktı!". Rudaw.net.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Nusret hayat hikayesi". Aksam.com.tr. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  9. "Nusret Gökçe, külliyeden sonra şimdi de okul yaptırıyor köyüne". Posta.com.tr. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  10. "Instagram post by Nusr_et#Saltbae • Jan 7, 2017 at 10:44am UTC". Instagram.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Del Valle, Gaby (20 September 2018). "Why is Marco Rubio tweeting about Salt Bae?". Vox. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  12. "Nusret Gökçe kimdir?". Hurriyet.com.tr. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  13. "Nusret restaurant to open at Four Seasons Dubai - What's On". What's On Dubai. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  14. Salt Bae Could Be Planting His Second NYC Restaurant Near Union Square Carla Vianna, Eater, 18 December 2018
  15. 15.0 15.1 Salt Bae Officially Goes Too Far Clint Rainey, 25 January 2018
  16. Reviews Trash Salt Bae's New Restaurant, Calls His Food ‘Bland and Boring’ Complex, Sajae Elder, 26 January 2018
  17. Burton, Monica (6 February 2018). "What the Critics Are Saying About Salt Bae's NYC Restaurant". Eater. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  18. 'Salt Bae' restaurateur slammed for Fidel Castro impersonation photo Michael Bartiromo, Fox News, 12 May 2017
  19. Ma, Alexandra (18 September 2018). "Venezuela's president ate steak at Salt Bae's restaurant while people in his country are starving". Business Insider. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  20. "Venezuelans outraged by Maduro's steak feast at Salt Bae restaurant". Reuters. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  21. "Maduro dines on pricey 'Salt Bae' steaks as Venezuelans starve". CNN. 19 September 2018. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  22. Haag, Matthew (18 September 2018). "Salt Bae Serves Maduro as Venezuela Suffers". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  23. "'It's a disgrace:' Miami lawmakers condemn 'Salt Bae' over serving Venezuela's Maduro". The Miami Herald. 27 September 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.