Unless you've cut yourself off from social media, you've come across the #SaltBae hashtag and meme at some point during the last week. "Salt Bae" is the nickname for Nusret Gökçe, the flashy Turkish chef and owner of Nusr-Et Steakhouse, a restaurant chain in Turkey and Dubai, who became internet famous for the sensuous way he salts his meat. But that Instagram video that earned him the Salt Bae title is one of hundreds he's posted over the year. In fact, most of Salt Bae's best Instagram posts are just as mouthwatering.
To be honest, I'm not a fan of red meat, but watching the way Gökçe prepares it is enough for me to question my preference. In fact, Gökçe's Instagram posts are enough to make me rethink how I feel about cooking. Sure, I love to cook. I'm OK at it. But Salt Bae turns a simple meal preparation into a sensual — heck, spiritual — experience. That's not something you could feel while perusing All Recipes for how to make Gordon Ramsey's version of risotto. Here are just five posts to prove my point.
This is one of Gökçe's latest post on Instagram. It's racked up more than 5.7 million views so far. In the video, Gökçe takes us through what he's dubbed "the art of meat." He slaps the slab a few times, slams it down on the red butcher block, cuts into the ribs, and proceeds to create food magic. At the end, Gökçe performs his signature "salting of the meat" move that launched him into internet stardom. And now I'm hungry.
This post from six weeks ago has nothing to do with salt or meat or food preparation, but it's received more than 90,000 views as of this writing. That could be because Salt Bae looks so at peace in this picturesque photo he took while in Istanbul. And his fans seem to agree. One person even commented: "His look can make girls pregnant."
There's a reason why James Corden, host of The Late Late Show, has fallen in love with Salt Bae. It's because of posts like this one, where Gökçe shows us in the most carnal — yes, carnal — way how to make a baked Turkish pastry. This video was posted nearly three months ago and has already racked up two million views.
Full disclosure: I'm not a burger fan either (I know, sacrilege). But this tower of greasy meat-and-cheese makes me want to hop in my hatchback and drive to the nearest In-N-Out Burger for a double-double animal style. Actually, I'll be right back...
I'm allergic to peanuts and all types of nuts. I have been for more than 20 years. It's been so long that I've forgotten the last time I actually consumed a chestnut (Christmas in 1995, probably). If I was magically cured of my life-threatening — and inconvenient — allergy, I wouldn't know what to do. Clearly, I would need Salt Bae to show me the way. (OK, so I would know how to eat a nut if I could do so without my body revolting against me, but I'd still want Salt Bae to be all Ghost about it.)