Nusrat, when did you have your first steak?
Â «At thirteen, when I started working in a butcher shop. In my house there was never any meat, and we were so poor that there was only a slice of bread and a tomato on the table.”
Nusrat Joko, better known as Salt Bae, the world’s richest butcher, successful businessman with 32 restaurants and 4,000 employees, became a star thanks to the gesture of spreading salt (Bae means before anyone else, before anyone else). The owner of a star restaurant, loved by young people, attacked for unpopular receipts, a lover of fitness and elegance, speaks good English, has pleasant manners and wears a Tom Ford suit on which he appears her trademark.
Nusret-Salt Bae, who are you really?
Â «A businessman who has been working every day for 26 years, the first to arrive and the last to leave. I never take vacations, and I don’t sleep much at night. Business never sleepsto”.
What does this gesture of spreading salt mean?
“It’s something that comes from the heart, Khatami. A little bit like Ronaldo when he goes ‘siwo’ after a goal.”
Why is it so popular?
Â «Because I changed the food industry and my aspirations: Before me, being a butcher was not accepted. Who wanted to marry a butcher? The children wanted to be a lawyer or an astronaut: now they dream of Nusrat.
They say he is obsessed with wealth.
– Until the age of 20, I wore clothes and shoes two sizes larger than what I received from charity. Today I want luxury ».
He’s almost 40 years old, and he’s worked for more than half of his life.
– I had to give up my studies. I am from the rural district of Pasali in Türkiye. We lived 7 in a room: my dad got up at dawn to go to the mine and by 6pm he was already asleep. I would come home and no one was awake.”
The first working day.
â € In a butcher shop in Istanbul, 50 km from the house. I was 13 years old and worked from 6 in the morning until midnight. I slept in an armchair inside the shop.”
What job did he have?
No term: I help wash dishes with other such tasks. But I dreamed of success ».
He changed the text.
“There were no steakhouses in Turkey: I asked the president to go to Argentina to understand this way of cutting meat.”
Did she say yes?
Â«He said no: With the savings, I took a discount flight to Buenos Aires and stayed there for 6 months. I went to the Turkish consulate and said, “I want to learn.” I knew neither English nor Spanish: when I returned to Istanbul people only talked about me and my boss fired me.”
Travel to the United States.
– I got a 3-month visa: I cut meat in a Turkish restaurant. I told him: “I am not on vacation, I will open in New York one day.”
Who believed in it?
Businessman Mithat Erdem. He had heard about me and came to the restaurant: “Let’s find a name for our restaurant.”
What did he give her?
â€œHe wanted something international, like Knife. I told him, “My name is Mark.” “Omar” Nusret final means meat in Turkish.
– I said to Mithat: “With this offer, I bought your financial car.” So it was: in no time I “paid off” my half. We worked 12 non-stop hours a day and I took the employees to my house to sleep, and I was afraid they wouldn’t come back the next day.”
You are now international.
“Thanks to the entry of Ferit Şahink, a Turkish businessman who is also my partner, we have opened restaurants everywhere.”
United States, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Mykonos. Is it Italy?
Â “I would like to open in Milan but there is no suitable location. I’m looking for a restaurant on the road: I don’t want a restaurant on top of a skyscraper, like everyone else.
Is social media important?
First, there was word of mouth. In 2017, Instagram made the salt gesture go viral: A bartender made a video of me and posted it. The next morning, my millions of followers called me Salt Bae.
The waiter lives. But other former employees accuse her.
– My second profession is a doctor. Every employee is listened to and evaluated by me and can aspire to travel the world. Those who don’t have what it takes can’t keep up. It spreads false news.”
Is the extra charge for cuts of meat at the table wrong too?
Â «Making customers feel good is more important to me than money. Whoever sits at the restaurant is an honored guest. Whether you order a burger or a golden ottoman.”
The famous meat covered in gold is very salty …
High quality meat: the animals listened to music and were massaged. It’s the right price.
Doctors say to reduce meat consumption.
• Protein is important. I’ve been eating meat every day for 26 years, if I don’t I’m not satisfied. I am in excellent health.
What do you think of vegetarians?
– I respect them and have dishes for them on the menu. But I have converted a lot of vegetarians.
Do you still know how much a kilo of meat costs?
“I know exactly how much each piece of meat costs in every country in the world.”
Today he is a rich man. What did he give his parents?
Â «My parents do not know how to read, they said to me one day: Explain to us what is going on? I bought them a villa in Pasali.”
Did he hire his brothers?
“Yes. I recently invited them to lunch: we sat at the table, and I never spoke to them or talked to them at the table ».
women on your staff?
“We train many of them at the Istanbul Academy, through paid training courses.”
Do you do charity?
“I opened a cinema and a library in Bassali.”
His next move?
Listed on the Stock Exchange.
Do you dream of cinema?
â??????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????? I think it can inspire people.
Do people envy?
Those who do not know me envy me. He who knows what they really are changes his judgment.”
He was attacked to dominate the World Cup, which Argentina won.
“I did not know that it was forbidden. I think many were not aware of it, and today, thanks to me, we have learned something new.”
Do you have players among your clients?
â € Almost everyone has been through it. Ronaldo? A health conscious person.”
• Al Pacino. Then Andrea and Veronica Bocelli: Andrea loves sushi, I dedicated Andrea’s bonbons to him, it’s on the menu ».
Does she have 13 children or is it a hoax?
â€œMake 23…one a year. â€™
Is he single?
“Yes, I have a very busy life for a couple.”
What will he say to the son?
“To have a kind heart, smile and be disciplined.”
Is he happy?
“If you are not happy, you will not be successful: you have to forget about yesterday and focus on the present, and learn from the past.”
“Freelance social media evangelist. Organizer. Certified student. Music maven.”