Turkish Chef NusretGökçe Putting on Gloves
It is not enough to be able to do something well, you also need to learn how to properly present the results. NusretGökçe, world-famous professional butcher, chef and restaurateur from Turkey, knows it all too well.
A year ago, a culinary video went viral and won over many lovers of good food and skilled memes. In the video, the chef shows the process of making an Ottoman Steak. The highlight of the video was the Nusret’s skill to sprinkle the dish with salt over his elbow. This trick earned the chef a name Salt Bae on social media and YouTube.
Gökçe’s road to success was rather bumpy. He was born in 1983 in the Turkish town of Paşali. He grew up in poverty, and did not even have the opportunity to get a decent school education: it consisted only of primary school. So now Gökçe is working hard to give a happy childhood to his nine children.
From the age of 14, Nusret had to work. As fate would have it, the boy became an assistant to a butcher. Perhaps this is what determined his future.
At the age of 27, Gökçe, having saved enough money, opened his first restaurant in Istanbul. Today he owns eight steakhouses and four burger restaurants. You can find them in Turkey, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Miami under the brand Nusr-Et. Obviously, it is named after the restaurateur, whose name translates as “with God’s help.” The hyphen is there for the wordplay: it separates Et, which sounds like “lamb” in Turkish.
Gökçe is not going to become complacent and continues to expand his geography. In January 2018, another restaurant under the well-known brand was opened in New York. But, unfortunately, it was not met with a standing ovation and eulogies. Critics attacked the food prepared by Nusret right away. According to them, it is rather mediocre, which does not justify sky-high prices. Steve Kuozzo from the New York Post compared the chef’s famous steak to boot leather and noted that his USD 130 were wasted.
This was not the end of Gökçe’s troubles and negative adventures in the city of contrasts. Fussy Americans rebelled against the way the food was cooked. Everyone suddenly remembered about the hygiene rules, and Eater.com called out for Nusret to observe them. Critics noticed bare hands of Nusr Et workers, as well as the jewellery on the chef himself during cooking (in this case, we are talking about the gold watch).
Gökçe responded to all the comments rather professionally. The day after the accusations in the media, he went to demonstrate his crown “salty” trick in black gloves. Although, salt was sprinkled on the steak over the same bare elbow.
Despite the negative reviews, public does not lose interest in Nusret’s restaurants. Their patrons include even the world-famous celebrities.
Recently, the establishment of the Turkish chef in Dubai was visited by Leonardo DiCaprio. And, oddly enough, the famous American actor was not at all afraid of the so-called unhygienic conditions, decided to see the famous Gökçe’s trick, and even tried an advertised steak.
Nusret’s talent has also been supported by Rihanna. During one of her concerts, the artist appeared on the stage wearing a T-shirt that said Salt Bae.
Admirers of the acting skills of the chef also include TV hosts and athletes. His gesture of “salting” was adopted by celebrities and was seen by many football fans as well as viewers of TV shows hosted by James Corden.
By the way, fate has long sent Gokche signs about possible problems with doing business in the US. When the chef was still trying to adapt to the future work in America, he made a number of reconnaissance trips there. Nusret was welcomed in Argentina, which cannot be said about the States themselves. Gökçe was repeatedly denied visa and was able to visit only over the three-month tourist period.
So this is the business journey of the chef, who has made his name thanks to social media. We hope that soon all Gökçe’s American troubles will be left behind and he will again become a Salt Bae of each patron of his restaurants.