Salt Bae is probably the best thing about 2017 so far. But is his food actually good?
Despite the trending Robert E. Kelly video of his two kids walking in on his interview going viral, the legend of Salt Bae still thrives. If you go to one of his restaurants, be prepared for one heck of ride. Everything you know about cooking meat has been a lie, until you see the wonder of Salt Bae in action.
Nusret Gokce, a.k.a. Salt Bae, went viral with Instagram videos of his epic salting technique. His trademark move, bending his elbow and sprinkling salt off his arm led to thousands of memes, copycats, skits and more.
Even singer Bruno Mars tweeted him.
Annndddd I’m out pic.twitter.com/jFS8aFaqN4
— Bruno Mars (@BrunoMars) January 8, 2017
Salt Bae’s Success Story
He has an incredible success story. Born into a working-class family, he dreamed of becoming a chef.
Nusr-et Steakhouse in Abu Dhabi’s Galleria Mall is so busy, the steady stream of customers, including Emirati royalty, keep staff constantly attending tables. Nusret has also entertained celebrity royalty, seasoning his food for Leonardo DeCaprio among many others.
Gokce was reputedly born into a mining family in a rural area of Turkey. He got a job as a dishwasher when he was younger, working long hours but never giving up on his dream of running his own restaurant.
He began making friends with local customers and experimenting with his own dishes. When folks kept coming back for more, the story goes, they would specifically ask for Gokce’s specials. Word began to spread, and slowly, the legend was born.
He now owns six restaurants in Turkey and the UAE. There are plans to expand into major European capitals and word is he’s already scouting locations in London.
Many of those videos are shot on smartphones by the customers themselves and later uploaded on social media. When he’s not working the floor, Gokce is constantly engaging with his fan base on social media. His phone is constantly in his hands, and his Instagram account alone has 2.4 million followers.
People still imitate his signature salt sprinkle and it even became a football celebration.
And if you thought that he’s just good at cullinary skills, think again!
Salt Bae’s Work Ethic
18-hour days, personally inspecting and carving each piece of beef that’s flown in from slaughterhouses he regularly visits himself. He flies in baklava from Turkey, daily. That is how dedicated he is. A true man of his craft.
“He’s married to his job,” one employee explains. “He doesn’t even travel unless it’s to scout for new locations.”
According to sources, he pays double of the minimum wage to all his employees and gives work to more than 60 people.
Gokce is even more passionate about meat in person than he is in his videos. He greets diners personally, often serving and carving their dishes table-side.
His restaurant is always lively with aromatic spices in the air.
One of his signature dishes, a beef “sushi,” is cooked table-side using a blowtorch. The result is a dish that tastes unlike anything else with hints of traditional Japanese sushi fillings inside.
His “steak spaghetti,” dish is mouthwatering, perfectly spiced and melts in the mouth. Gokce’s passion and attention to detail is clear in every dish.
Is it worth it?
Main courses range from $60 to $200. It’s Pricey! But trust me, it’s worth it! Any budding Salt Bae fan would pay that much to see him. It’s not just food. It’s an experience.