What is the property of Salt Bae
BILD meets internet phenomenon Nusret "#SaltBae" Gökce - the salt shaker of the stars
This man makes gold out of salt ...
Butcher and restaurant owner Nusret Gökce (34) is the Internet phenomenon of the year (8.6 million followers on Instagram). Soon there is even an advertising role for the Netflix series "Narcos". But what makes it so special?
Rihanna and Ben Affleck wear T-shirts with prints of the weird salt litter pose that made Nusret famous; Leonardo DiCaprio only goes to dinner with him in Dubai; Before the election, the French Interior Ministry asked the people on Twitter with Nusret's picture to cast their vote.
► Manuel Neuer, Mesut Özil, Nico Rosberg, Roger Federer, Justin Bieber - they are all fans of the theatrical man.
Nusret Gökce's life story is ready for a movie!
He worked his way from the bottom to the top: he dropped out of school after the fifth grade to work. At first he didn't have a cent in his pocket - today there are ten restaurants that bear the name of Nusret Gökce, and he's just opening two more in New York and London. He also has Paris and Berlin in his sights.
BILD meets Nusret Gökce in his restaurant. He talks about his difficult childhood, how he became #SaltBae and what Bruno Mars has to do with it.
BILD: Celebrities imitate your salt litter pose, go in and out of your restaurants. Their movement became a cult. But the question in the room is usually: who is that actually?
Nusret Gokce:"Who am I actually? I was born in 1982 in Erzurum, Turkey. I dropped out of school after elementary school and the only thing I've learned in life is butchery. "
How did a butcher become an internet phenomenon?
Gokce:“I've been doing the salt litter movement for two years. At some point a guest opened an Instagram account for me at the table and explained to me how it works. I added a photo and every time there was a lot of reactions. As a completely normal butcher, I tried to do everything a little differently. How I cut the meat, how I present it, how I salt it. We then recorded it in videos and shared it. The social media have contributed to the fascination. "
“Nobody used to be proud to be a butcher. Now it's gotten cool. I was in Dubai on a weekend in January. I said, 'I'm going to do a meat-cutting video like this today. When people see that, they'll storm the restaurants. ‘We'll be out in the sun then, I grabbed a huge tomahawk steak, put it down, started cutting it. Then I salted it and because we were outside the salt looked like snow flakes. At that time, I had around 900,000 followers on Instagram. We have uploaded the video. Hundreds of memes were created. That day was probably a Los Angeles Lakers game. Bruno Mars posted a tweet with the salt litter pose after the win and it started. Retweets, more followers, even more memes. And everyone imitated the pose. The video has now been viewed more than 15 million times. "
What does the pose mean?
Gokce:“Cutting the meat properly is the most important thing. But I really wanted it to have a golden touch, some kind of fairy dust. That makes people smile. "
How did you get there?
Gokce:“She suddenly occurred to me. If you bend your arm and then sprinkle the salt from your fingers, it has to land on your forearm and then on the meat. "
What does the pose figuratively mean? Why does everyone imitate them?
Gokce:“I think it's a symbol of success, a happy ending. That has nothing to do with salts anymore, but now symbolizes a lot more. "
Back to your beginnings: you took on debt a few years ago and traveled to Argentina.
Gokce:“I started as a butcher when I was 13 and stayed with the same employer for 15 years. At first I wasn't interested in meat or work. Get up early, come home late in the evening, cut meat all day. It's not that easy at all. I hated it at first, but the more I learned, the more I fell in love with work. After 15 years it was clear to me that I had to go where this work was best done. And that's in Argentina and in the US. So I went on the adventure. I was making $ 700 a month at the time. Of course, that was not enough to start this journey. So I borrowed money, used my credit card and then got a 25 percent discount on the plane ticket and was able to travel. At that time I knew everything about the animal: Where do I cut which meat and how best to process it. But I also wanted to find out more. "
What did you learn?
Gokce:“I was able to get rid of all the question marks I had. I spent time on cattle ranches, visited different restaurants. In Argentina I did my master’s degree, so to speak. "
Then the doctorate was still missing ...
Gokce:“To get that, I had to go to the USA. The first time the entry visa was refused. If I get something on my mind, it has to happen. So I went to the American consulate a total of six times and in the end received a three-month visa. That's how I traveled to New York. I didn't know anyone there. Before the trip, I had contacted a Turkish restaurant owner who met me there. And exactly on the day of my arrival his butcher left. I asked him what was on his menu. He listed the types of kebabs and I said, 'Get me three lambs, I'll prepare them for you and then I'll take a look at the kitchens of the restaurants you recommended.' I'll have that the next morning made. I cut the meat nicely, prepared it on trays. The whole team stood around me and watched with their mouths open. In the afternoon I went to the kitchens of the restaurants my friend recommended and looked over the shoulders of the people there. Without my friend there, I would never have had this access. This is how my American adventure began. I stayed for three months and then returned to Istanbul. "
And then back to your old employer's kitchen?
Gokce:"First of all. I had minor problems there before my trip. Everyone asked about me, even in my absence. The bigger the demand got, the more it bothered them. They then asked, 'Do you realize what your real job is? You're supposed to cut the meat, but you fry it, you serve it. It doesn't work that way. ‘So my popularity has bothered me. I then separated from there and met my current business partner. Up until then I had phoned him twice and served him once. That was around 2010. He believed in me and invested in me. We opened a restaurant. I helped build it and was on the construction site every day. We wrote my name down and that was the program. "
You now have eight restaurants in Turkey, one in Dubai, one in Abu Dhabi, and you are about to open the one in New York. When do you come to sleep?
Gokce:“I sleep four hours a day. That's enough. I'll explain why: I made $ 700 a few years ago, my first restaurant had ten tables, and I could hardly find people good enough to work for me. I took my former co-workers with me at 3 a.m., we slept for a few hours and then started again. Now there are ten restaurants and I have 700 employees. I am responsible. Sleep is not so important there. Even my parents have to come here to see me. "
How important is this success to you?
Gokce:“Of course I wanted to be successful. But that was never the main goal. I work non-stop. I slept in cars, nodded off on chairs. I am always available for anyone who wants to take a photo, I go to every table in my restaurants. That's how it is when you work in service. I come in front of the staff and leave after they have finished work. When a guest leaves the restaurant unhappy, it shakes me. I have not achieved success easily and I do not want to lose it so easily. "
When do you open a restaurant in Germany?
Gokce:"I plan to. I looked at a property in Berlin, but I didn't like it. But I will definitely open a restaurant with you. "
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