To me, salt is simply one word made up of four letters. It is merely another ingredient I use for seasoning food. Nothing more nor nothing less. But for one man, it is the missing piece to his recipe for success.
Salt Bae, the Internet?s Most-Extra Meme
Meet Nusret Gkce, the (extra)ordinary chef behind the Internet?s most superfluous meme, ?Salt Bae.? The Turkish culinary expert knows a few things about his meats. He now has a remarkable online following since people can?t get over the sensational and regularly erotic manner by which he shakes and bakes his meats. He broke the web in the wake of posting his ?Ottoman Steak? video, where he is seen showing his adept knife abilities . . . furthermore, the dramatic artfulness with which he adds flavouring to his steak. It has been used by people when ?you?re feeling extra AF.? What?s more, in this way, #SaltBae, the web?s new most loved sensual icon was made.
The video initially surfaced early January of 2017 via Twitter. The following day, Bruno Mars tweeted a picture of Salt Bae with the caption ?Annndddd I?m out,? and a meme was born. Within 48 hours, the post had 2.4 million views. To date, the post has over 17 million views.
Social Media ? especially Twitter ?factors greatly to the rise of memes to how they are created, adapted, and spread around the world. The rise of ?Salt Bae? came across people interpreting the situation to describe as their ?extra? moments. People?s emotions were evoked and found relatability in this, causing the instant spread of the video. Without a doubt, these platforms played a crucial factor in building Salt Bae?s Internet status and his online culture ? enabling a platform for himself to feed off of.
Prior to his overnight found stardom, Gkce He already had a chain of Nusr-Et steakhouses and burger places located in Turkey. Today, Gkce now has 13 restaurants around the globe, from Abu Dhabi to Miami, and over 600 employees. Soon, we can find him making a jump to the American shores, opening a steakhouse in Miami. A shortlist of names who have eaten as his restaurants varies from: Drake and DJ Khaled to Leonardo DiCaprio and David Beckham. He has been featured in numerous of articles and swooned over on late night television, and in Melbourne, Australia, there is even a mural of him ? Gokce is featured, still mid-salt, in his iconic gesture.
People try for years and years to make it big in the world. But Gkce found Internet-stardom for doing his regular, real-live job. He?s a cook and he got famous for cooking ? just not thanks to anyone who has actually tasted his food. He became aware of his meme-status and directly capitalized on it when he announced plans to open a New York branch on the ground floor of Black Rock, the CBS tower a few weeks after the video went viral.
Gkce performing his signature salting technique at Nusr-Et steakhouse in Manhattan. He is the star of the show everyone in the dining room has come to see (and capture on camera). Photo Courtesy by Cole Wilson from New York Times.
For many years, Gkce struggled to obtain a travel visa for entry to the United States. After he went viral, denied accessed was no longer an issue. Now I find myself believing that ? life is much easier when you are rich and famous. Although we see less of ?Salt Bae,? on social media, this does not necessarily mean that Salt Bae is gone forever. Taken as a true entrepreneur, Gkce manages to keep Salt Bae alive by continuing to perform his iconic gestures within his restaurants. He encourages his paying customers to post and share these videos on Instagram ? an effective word-of-mouth marketing strategy. Today, people take and share photos to prove we were there. I myself am guilty of the ?If You Didn?t Snapchat It, Did it Really Happen?? concept. Because of this, I am also part of growing Salt Bae?s success. You best believe I will be snapchatting my experience at one of his restaurants if the opportunity presented itself. Gkce finds success in maintaining his relevance and growing his fame long after his meme went viral, similar to Food Network Star Guy Fieri and his rise. People are willing to pay $180 at his restaurants, not the taste of the food, but rather for the experience. This simple yet low-cost tactic is quite clever as it?s an effective way to continue to make capital. Gkche takes as a true entrepreneur, he took his fame and the free publicity given with it, and transformed it into a rising restaurant empire across the globe.