Salt Bae

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Salt Bae
Born Nusret Gökçe
Erzurum, Turkey
Nationality Turkish
Occupation Chef and restaurateur
Employer Nusr-Et

Nusret Gökçe ([nusˈɾet ɟøcˈt͡ʃe], born in 1983), nicknamed Salt Bae, is a Turkish chef and restaurateur who owns Nusr-Et, a chain of Turkish steak houses. His art of cooking and preparing meat became an internet sensation.[1][2][3] He is a trained butcher and chef.[4]

Early life[edit]

Gökçe was born in Erzurum, Turkey. His father was a mineworker. Because of financial problems his family was facing, he dropped out of school in the 6th grade and started working as a butcher's apprentice in the Kadıköy district of Istanbul.[5] He is of Kurdish origin.[6][7]


Gökçe visited several countries such as Argentina and the United States between 2007 and 2010, where he worked in local restaurants for free, in order to gain experience as a cook and a restaurateur.[5] After his return to Turkey, Gökçe opened his first restaurant in Istanbul in 2010.[8] Four years later, in 2014, he opened a Dubai restaurant.[9] After its success in Dubai, Gökçe opened in Abu Dhabi three years later in 2017.[citation needed]

Gökçe became more widely known through a series of viral internet videos and memes from January 2017 which show him "suavely" cutting meat and sprinkling salt.[1]

In February 2017 at the Laureus World Sports Awards, Gökçe served Olympic gold-medalist Simone Biles.[10]

In December 2017 he received criticism for a 2016 photo posing in front of an image of Fidel Castro.[11]

Early professional reviews in 2018 of his New York City steakhouse were generally negative.[12][13] Eater’s Robert Sietsema described the steaks as “rubbery and low on flavor.” The Post’s Steve Cuozzo called the restaurant “Public Rip-off No. 1” and Joshua David Stein wrote in GQ that the steak is “mundane,” and the hamburgers “overcooked.”[12]

Salt Bae meme[edit]

A clip from the viral video.

His fame came from a viral video, "Ottoman Steak", posted on 7 January 2017 on his restaurant's Twitter account.[14] It was viewed 10 million times on Instagram, after which he was dubbed "Salt Bae" because of his iconic way of sprinkling salt: letting salt to fall down on his forearm then spread on the meat.[1] He was later interviewed by NBC News, where he said "The shape of the meat and the taste of it starting from the top down is a part of me... All of my feelings are coming from inside of the meat down to when I put the salt onto the meat."[15] He later parodied himself in posing with his ballot while voting in the 2017 Turkish referendum.[16]


  1. ^ a b c "Who the Hell is Salt Bae?". TheWrap. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "Simone Biles happily had food seasoned by 'the one and only' Salt Bae at Laureus Awards". 15 February 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2017. 
  3. ^ Miller, Jenni. "Everything You Need to Know About #SaltBae". 
  4. ^ ‘Salt Bae’ caught posing as Fidel Castro — and he just opened a Miami restaurant CARLOS FRÍAS Miami Herald DECEMBER 03, 2017
  5. ^ a b "Nusret hayat hikayesi". Retrieved 20 March 2018. 
  6. ^ "Rudaw, Nusret'in ailesiyle röportaj yaptı". Ensonhaber. 
  7. ^ "Meşhur Nusret Kürt çıktı!". 
  8. ^ "Nusret Gökçe kimdir?". Retrieved 20 March 2018. 
  9. ^ "Nusret restaurant to open at Four Seasons Dubai - What's On". What's On Dubai. 2014-11-11. Retrieved 2018-04-06. 
  10. ^ Simone Biles happily had food seasoned by ‘the one and only’ Salt Bae at Laureus Awards Alysha Tsuji, USA Today, February 14, 2017
  11. ^ 'Salt Bae' restaurateur slammed for Fidel Castro impersonation photo Michael Bartiromo, Fox News, 12/5/2017
  12. ^ a b Salt Bae Officially Goes Too Far Clint Rainey, January 25, 2018
  13. ^ Reviews Trash Salt Bae’s New Restaurant, Calls His Food ‘Bland and Boring’ Complex magazine, Sajae Elder, JAN 26, 2018
  14. ^ "Instagram post by Nusr_et#Saltbae • Jan 7, 2017 at 10:44am UTC" – via Instagram. 
  15. ^ "Meet "Salt Bae," Turkish chef who became internet sensation". NBC News. Retrieved 24 February 2017. 
  16. ^ This is how to vote: Salt Bae casts ballot in Turkish referendum, and yes, it was amazing Emily Heil, Washington Post, April 16, 2017 (subscription required)

External links[edit]