Salt Bae

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Salt Bae
Salt Bae.png
Gökçe in 2018
Nusret Gökçe

1983 (age 35–36)

Nusret Gökçe ([nusˈɾet ɟøcˈtʃe], born in 1983), nicknamed Salt Bae, is a Turkish butcher, chef,[1] and restaurateur, who owns Nusr-Et,[2][3] a chain of steak houses. His technique for preparing and seasoning meat became an internet sensation.[4][5][6]

Early life[edit]

Gökçe was born in Erzurum, Turkey to a Kurdish family.[7][8] His father was a mineworker. The family's finances forced him to leave school in the 6th grade to work as a butcher's apprentice in the Kadıköy district of Istanbul.[9]


Early career[edit]

Gökçe visited several countries including 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.[9] After his return to Turkey, Gökçe opened his first restaurant in Istanbul in 2010[10] and later opened a Dubai restaurant in 2014.[11]

Salt Bae meme[edit]

A clip from the viral video.

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.[4]

His fame came from a viral video, "Ottoman Steak", posted on 7 January 2017 on his restaurant's Twitter account.[12] It was viewed 10 million times on Instagram, after which he was dubbed "Salt Bae" because of his peculiar way of sprinkling salt: dropping it from his fingertips to his forearm, and then falling onto the dish.[4] Since then, Gökçe has served multiple notable individuals due to his reputation.[13][5]


The dishes served at Gökçe's establishments have received mixed reviews and have been described as "overpriced".[13][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" and Joshua David Stein wrote in GQ called the steak mundane and the hamburgers overcooked.[15] However, from an entertainment standpoint, reviews were more positive.[17] Eater's Robert Sietsema states, "If you are intent on judging New York's new branch of Nusr-Et only as a steakhouse, you'll probably be disappointed ... If, on the other hand, you appraise the place as dinner theater, you will find it satisfying — but only if Salt Bae is in the house".[17]

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

Nusr-Et restaurant branches[edit]

This chain restaurant has currently many branches in several cities of Istanbul, Miami, New York, Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b 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. ^ "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. ^ a b c "Who the Hell is Salt Bae?". TheWrap. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b 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.
  6. ^ Miller, Jenni. "Everything You Need to Know About #SaltBae".
  7. ^ "Rudaw, Nusret'in ailesiyle röportaj yaptı". Ensonhaber.
  8. ^ "Meşhur Nusret Kürt çıktı!".
  9. ^ a b "Nusret hayat hikayesi". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Nusret Gökçe kimdir?". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Nusret restaurant to open at Four Seasons Dubai - What's On". What's On Dubai. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Instagram post by Nusr_et#Saltbae • Jan 7, 2017 at 10:44am UTC" – via Instagram.
  13. ^ a b Del Valle, Gaby (20 September 2018). "Why is Marco Rubio tweeting about Salt Bae?". Vox. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  14. ^ Salt Bae Could Be Planting His Second NYC Restaurant Near Union Square Carla Vianna, Eater, 18 December 2018
  15. ^ a b 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 magazine, Sajae Elder, 26 January 2018
  17. ^ a b 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. ^ "Salt Bae Serves Maduro as Venezuela Suffers". The New York Times. 18 September 2018. 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.

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