How Salt Bae’s $108,000 Bill Sparked Outrage Online

How Salt Bae's $108,000 Bill Sparked Outrage Online
How Salt Bae’s $108,000 Bill Sparked Outrage Online

Who is Salt Bae?

  • Salt Bae is the nickname of Nusret Gökçe, a Turkish chef and restaurateur who became famous for his viral video of sprinkling salt on a steak in 2017¹.
  • He owns a chain of steakhouses called Nusr-Et, with locations in Turkey, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Miami, New York, and more².
  • He is known for his extravagant and flamboyant style of serving meat, often with gold leaf or other expensive ingredients³.

What did he do?

  • On January 21, 2024, Salt Bae posted a picture of a receipt from his Dubai restaurant on his Instagram account, with the caption “Money comes money goes”⁴.
  • The receipt showed that some customers spent a whopping 398,630 U.A.E. dirhams, or about $108,500, on a single meal at Nusr-Et⁴.
  • The meal included items like beef carpaccio, fruit platters, french fries, baklava, and several gold-covered steaks, as well as bottles of rare wine and cognac⁴.
  • The customers also left a generous tip of 90,000 U.A.E. dirhams, or about $24,500⁴.

How did people react?

  • Many people were shocked and outraged by the exorbitant bill and Salt Bae’s apparent pride in showcasing such a lavish expenditure⁵⁶⁷.
  • Some criticized him for being insensitive and out of touch with the economic hardships faced by many people, especially in his home country of Turkey, where inflation and unemployment are soaring⁵⁶⁷.
  • Others questioned the quality and taste of his food, calling it overrated, overpriced, and wasteful⁵⁶⁷.
  • Some also mocked him for his signature salt-sprinkling gesture, saying that he should sprinkle some salt on the bill or on his ego⁵⁶⁷.

What can we learn from this?

  • Salt Bae’s $108,000 bill is an example of how social media can amplify both fame and controversy.
  • It also shows how different people have different perceptions and values of money, food, and luxury.
  • It raises questions about the ethics and sustainability of the food industry, especially in terms of animal welfare, environmental impact, and social justice.
  • It challenges us to think about how we spend our money and what we eat, and whether we are doing so responsibly and consciously.

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(2) Salt.

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