Nusret Gökçe, better known as Salt Bae, is a Turkish butcher and celebrity restaurateur who gained worldwide fame when a video of him theatrically seasoning steak went viral. That video has since garnered more than 16 million views and set Salt Bae on a path to personal fortune and international acclaim.
He has since become a social media sensation with millions of followers and spent the last five years building a steakhouse empire spanning the globe with restaurants in luxury hotspots Mykonos, London, Dubai, New York, Beverly Hills and Las Vegas, to name a few.
Born in Erzurum, Turkey in 1983, Nusret grew up in a large family and started working in his father’s butcher shop when he turned 13. ‘The Chef’ developed a passion for cooking and butchery and spent much of his teenage years travelling extensively throughout Argentina and the United States to develop his knowledge of the meat and restaurant industries.
In 2010, he opened his first restaurant, Nusr-Et, in Istanbul’s upscale Etlier neighbourhood. The restaurant quickly became a popular destination for food lovers and celebrities, and today his restaurants are renowned for their high-quality meat and elegant decor, which continues to attract some of the world’s best-known athletes, musicians and actors.
However, Nusret’s recent behaviour at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has sparked widespread controversy and criticism. Following Argentina’s win in the final, he was seen handling the trophy – something which goes against FIFA’s official rules – and interacting with a number of the players.
Despite that, Salt Bae’s achievements are undeniable and he remains a popular and successful entrepreneur with global appeal. Throughout the tournament, his Qatar restaurant hosted a plethora of celebrity clientele including FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the Spanish national team and a number of Argentina’s stars, which won’t come as any surprise given their culture’s affinity with steak.
So while his recent actions have generated criticism, his successes in business cannot be denied. From humble beginnings working in his father’s butcher shop, he has built a global steakhouse empire with restaurants in the world’s most luxurious destinations, and left an indelible mark on the culinary world.
“It’s important to us as a brand that we’re delivering content that our audience finds interesting and ultimately want to engage with. This collaboration was nothing short of that. He’s taken something from nothing and developed a global trend that has made him a multi-millionaire and iconic figure.
“The quality of the food, the music and the atmosphere sets you up for a top night out. It can be so difficult to get a table at Nusr-Et, especially when the chef is there, which gives it that exclusive feel that our clients are looking for.”
Liam Milburn & Andrew Davidson - Managing Directors, SWM