Salt Bae: Already a well-seasoned star

Salt Bae: Already a well-seasoned star
One picture on social media showed Salt Bae meeting Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
Updated 03 February 2017

Salt Bae: Already a well-seasoned star

Salt Bae: Already a well-seasoned star

Next time you add salt to your steak, or even a dollop of mayonnaise to your fries, just think: This is the way to Internet stardom.
At least that was the case for Nusret Gokce — also known as “Salt Bae” — who has become ridiculously famous thanks to his theatrical seasoning of food.
The restaurateur was hardly a nobody before: He runs the popular Nusr-Et Steakhouse chain in his native Turkey, along with two restaurants in the UAE, at the Four Seasons Resort on Jumeirah Beach Road in Dubai and a new branch at The Galleria on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi.
But it was a brief Instagram video that really saw Salt Bae become flavor of the month.
It shows the chef, with his trademark slick-back hair and dark glasses, purposefully cutting up a slab of meat, before bending his rather muscular arm and sprinkling salt down it to season the food. It became his trademark move.
The Internet went crazy — and a meme was born. The viral video, posted just three weeks ago, has attracted some 10 million views, and many more on other platforms.
It did not stop there. Megastar Rihanna has been snapped wearing a Salt Bae T-shirt. Footballer Danny Welbeck did a Salt Bae-style celebration after a goal for Arsenal in an FA Cup clash against Southampton FC.
In one social-media photograph, Salt Bae is seen meeting Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. And one man in Australia even immortalized the chef in the form of a large tattoo on his arm.
But will Salt Bae’s fame take many courses, or be a flash in the pan?The star certainly has great plans ahead. Salt Bae hopes to take his Nusr-Et Steakhouse global, according to one recent interview. He told the Hurriyet Daily News that there are plans to open branches of the steakhouse chain in London and New York.
And if the social media reaction is anything to go by, he will find many eager customers looking for a tasty meal, theatrically prepared.
His existing restaurants are reported to attract long queues. The menu has a decent array of dishes, from starters including steak tartar and shrimp, to grilled salmon and, of course, a variety of steaks.
Despite his heavy social-media use, Salt Bae has been keen to dismiss any notion that he is showing off. He revealed that he is the son of a mine-worker, and started working as a butcher when he was just 14 — and says the viral video was not the planned creation of a PR company.
“Actually that move at the end (salting) came automatically. I did not do that to show off. It is just my signature. You can think of it a kind of final touch for a painting. It was a final touch to the meat; I was blessing the meat,” he told Hurriyet Daily News.
So with his A-list following and trademark style, it seems we have not heard the last of this distinctive Turkish restaurateur. Whatever you do, do not take him with a pinch of salt.
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