Hot chef, meme sensation ‘Salt Bae’ to open restos in London, New York
If you’re well versed on the latest trends that the internet and social media has to offer, chances are you’ve stumbled upon a video of a suave-looking man expertly filleting and sprinkling salt on a slab of meat.
After his clip was shared on Instagram, the internet quickly dubbed him as the eccentric and sensual chef “Salt Bae”, but in real life, Turkish restaurant owner Nusret Gökçe is just a simple man with a burning passion for cooking meat.
The viral pony-tailed chef, who co-owns the global Nusr-et chain of grill houses, has since become one of the most popular memes of 2017—with his clip reaching 8 million views and even gaining 2.5 million followers on Instagram.
His magnificent salt-sprinkling pose has been imitated online in several spoof videos, while his likeness was even printed on T-shirts worn by celebrities like pop star Rihanna.
Gökçe’s sudden popularity has even reached a global scale and was immortalized in graffiti in Melbourne.
Banking on his recent name recognition, “Salt Bae” will reportedly expand his business and open branches in London and New York over the next few months, according to Business Insider.
Despite not knowing any foreign language apart from native tongue, the proud father of nine is optimistic that he’ll be able to “communicate with people through meat.”
The internet sensation also said he’s amazed of his sudden fame and even shared the story behind the salt meme.
“That move at the end [salting] came automatically,” he was quoted as saying in the report. “I did not do that to show off. It is just my signature. You can think of it [as] a kind of final touch for a painting. It was a final touch to the meat; I was blessing the meat.”
Gökçe added that his videos online were mostly shot by his staff, in an effort to promote his restaurants.
Although most people would see him as ”uncouth,” Gökçe is incredibly modest and shared that he came from humble beginnings.
“I am the son of a mine worker. My father and mother [are not literate],” Gökçe shared. “I cannot go to school due to financial difficulties. I started [working for] a butcher as an apprentice when I was 14. Meat has become a passion for me.” Khristian Ibarrola
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.