Wearing a tight white t-shirt and gold-rimmed sunglasses, he sprinkles a pinch of salt cascading from the palm of his hand, down the lenght of his arm and onto the perfectly seared steak, an artistic move that has become a trade mark for him; and him only!. Using his great talent, he plays with knives professionally to cut meat with fast and flexible movements, reaching more than 28 million followers on his Instagram page and millions of views on each video.
Yes; we’re talking about Salt bae, or Zalt bae as one of his Instagram followers called him_likening him to the fictional character of Zorro_ he is Nusret Gökçe; the chief and co-owner of the popular steakhouse chain Nusr-Et.
How Did he Get There?
Gökçe was born in 1983, in Erzurum, Turkey. He is one of five children of a family with a limited income. Due to some financial struggles and the harsh living condition; he had to leave school in the 6th grade to work as a butcher’s apprentice in the Kadıköy district of Istanbul, it was not an easy job for a little boy; he worked 18 hours a day non-stop with 10 other workers.
In 2007, things started to take another turn; Nusret started working in a newly opened restaurant in Istinye Park in Turkey, and this is where it kicked off as he decided to travel abroad with a very little money and very big hopes, to widen the horizon and see how the business of restaurants function elsewhere. So he traveled to Argentina then to the US where he spent his unpaid working hours in local restaurants, only focusing on enriching his work experience.
The road to fame was first established in 2010; as Gökçe -combining his experience and ambition- opend his first restaurant in Turkey with a financial help from one of his friends. The success of this restaurant as well as his videos where he is showing off his brilliant talent preparing steaks, usually ending with his famous “salt spray move” this led to Gökçe having millions of followers and fans around the globe.
Nusr-Et Steakhouse Chain
After Gökçe’s restaurant achieved high profits in Turkey, he decided to open other restaurants in several different countries that he chose carefully. Such as, United States, Dubai, Qatar, and more than one branche in Turkey. Those restaurants have quickly became the sector’s leader.
In 2012, he also became a partner in Doğuş Group which is one of the largest private-sector conglomerates in Turkey.
Today, this chain of restaurants has become a popular destination for meat lovers. Servicing beside its top quality steaks, the steakhouse culture, and of course his videos are still a remarkable trend that is widely known for meat lovers.
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