Nusret “Salt Bae” Gökçe — the chef and restaurateur who seductively salts and caresses his meats for millions of followers on social media — is back in the news for seductively feeding a piece of steak to one of his female customers, much to the perceived horror of her date.
A video of the incident was first posted to Twitter last week, shortly after Gökçe’s latest Nusr-Et Steakhouse opened in Dallas’ Arts District. In the clip, Gökçe appears to have just finished slicing three cuts steak and lamb. He then salts the meats and lifts a slice from the cutting board with his knife — a slice he soon dangles over the mouth of a female customer. She opens up to take a bite, at which point her male companion’s face washes over with a look of confusion or shock, or as some have suggested online.
The Twitter user who posted the video suggested that the woman was the miffed man’s girlfriend, though the nature of their relationship has not been confirmed.
“So was this disrespectful?” the Twitter user captioned her video, which has been viewed over 5.6 million times since March 12.
Nusret Gokçe earned the nickname “Salt Bae” after going viral on Instagram for his unique culinary routine.
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In the following days, commenters on Twitter have been sounding off about the clip, with some claiming the woman was being “disrespectful” by accepting the food. Many, however, claimed that this kind of thing happens at Salt Bae’s restaurants all the time. In fact, the very same week, the restaurateur was filmed trying to feed a piece of steak to Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper.
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Others, meanwhile, focused on what they felt were more bothersome parts of the restaurant experience.
Responses to the video ended up attracting the attention of the steakhouse customer herself, who suggested she wasn’t bothered at all — and was even enjoying the reaction from social media. She also retweeted a follower who pointed out that “not everyone has the same boundaries and attitudes in relationships.”
The woman did not immediately return a request for further comment.
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In any case, this wouldn’t be the first time Salt Bae has caused controversy. Back in January of 2018, the restaurateur was investigated by the NYC Health Department for salting his customers’ steaks without gloves. And in September of 2020, his newly-opened Boston restaurant was shut down for violating both coronavirus protocol and fire safety regulations.