A new day, a new viral meat meme. #SaltBae is the internet-bestowed nickname of Nusret Gökçe, a butcher, restaurant owner, and conventionally attractive man, who this weekend managed to hold the internet’s attention for a brief while by pounding, slicing, and salting beef with great passion.
Gökçe began his career as a butcher when he was 16, according to Dubai food blog FooDiva, and now owns restaurants in Turkey and Dubai. If you are not lucky enough, as Tommy Hilfiger was, to meet him in person, you can get a sense of his beef stylings via his Instagram account.
Here he massages a cow, or pre-meat:
Here he is showing off his knife skills:
Here you can witness his namesake salting style, in which most of the salt seems to land next to the meat rather than on it:
As you can see, Gökçe has chosen to subvert the stereotypical butcher aesthetic of a white smock and blood stains; instead he opts for sunglasses and a demure suit vest. This, combined with the general inherent comedy of raw meat, plus Gökçe’s bewildering salting habits, have cemented #SaltBae in the public consciousness — at least until something else happens.
Obviously, this has inspired copycats, which means Phase 2 of the meme is already in full swing:
Listen: #SaltBae doesn’t seem like it will have the kind of longevity Gökçe has had in his career. How long can we salt things with flair? Make your parody videos now, while the meat is still hot.