Turkey’s celebrity butcher has arrived in New York. Nusret Gokce, widely known as Salt Bae for the dramatic flourish with which he showers salt on a steak, has been a butcher since he was 13. He has become better known as a chef since 2010, having opened a string of steakhouses in Turkey and the Middle East with his business partner, Mithat Erdem.
Mr. Gokce, 35, cuts a dapper figure; on the job he wears a white T-shirt and sunglasses and performs dazzling, precise knife work. And thanks to Instagram, for the past year he has become as recognizable as George Clooney.
“In Turkey, butchering was a low-class, degrading job,” he said through a translator. “Now, thanks to me, all the kids want to become butchers.”
A 250-seat Nusr-Et opened in Miami about two months ago, serving about 1,000 meals a day. In New York, a city he now calls home, the restaurant, which seats 150 with an outdoor area for 80, occupies the former China Grill space in the CBS “Black Rock” building in Midtown Manhattan.