Who needs to hire PR when you’re Salt Bae? With just his staff taking videos, Nusret Gökçe has become a meme, with millions of people across the world doing the wrist flick, creating salt tributes, and even Salt Bae emojis.
Now, co-owner Gökçe is poised to open a branch of his mini-chain, Nusr-et, in London and Midtown. And while the New York Post reports the Manhattan branch is going into the space occupied by China Grill (60 W. 53rd St.) since the 1980s, a spokesperson from the still-open China Grill told Eater today that the Post got the address wrong — though the restaurant’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have not acknowledged the alleged mistake.
Gökçe, the son of a mine worker who began his career as a butcher’s apprentice at the age of 14, says his dramatic salting of steak wasn’t showing off for the camera in an interview with the Hurriyet Daily News. “It is just my signature. You can think of it a kind of final touch for a painting. It was a final touch to the meat; I was blessing the meat.”
Gökçe opened his first restaurant in 2010. Today, he has five steakhouses — primarily in Turkey, one in Dubai— and two burger restaurants.
CNN Travel caught up with him at his newest restaurant in Dubai, where they found that, “Gokce is even more passionate about meat in person than he is in his videos. With his signature tight black and white T-shirts —and, arguably, even tighter pants — he greets patrons personally, often serving and carving their dishes table-side.”
Stay tuned for updates on the New York location for Nusr-et.