Archive

ShareThis Page
Venezuelan President Maduro met with outrage after steak feast at Salt Bae restaurant | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

Venezuelan President Maduro met with outrage after steak feast at Salt Bae restaurant

Tribune-Review
| Tuesday, September 18, 2018 8:30 p.m
AFP1982JJ
Getty Images
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro imitates a gesture allegedlly done by celebrity Turkish chef Nusret Gokce, a social media star chef who goes by the name Salt Bae, during a press conference to the international media following his recent trip to China, at Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, on September 18, 2018.

A viral video of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro feasting on a steak this past week prepared by Turkish celebrity chef “Salt Bae” has gone viral in the wake of the ongoing food shortage back home.

At a time when millions of Venezuelans are skipping meals and losing weight as hyperinflation and an unprecedented economic collapse drive them deeper into poverty, Muduro visited the famed Nusr-Et steakhouse in Istanbul during a brief stop in Turkey on his way home from a trip to China.

Videos show him puffing on a cigar from what appears to be a personalized box as he and first lady Cilia Flores watch owner Nusret Gokce, clad in his signature aviator sunglasses and snug-fitting T-shirt, rock his hips while slicing a long knife into a juicy steak.

A video of the event was posted by Gokce — a world-renown restarateur better known by the nickname Salt Bae — on his Instagram account and was seen by 16 million followers.

The post was later deleted.

Seemingly too late, the videos ignited criticism for Maduro.

In a TV appearance Monday night, Maduro called the meal a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” and thanked Gokce for his hospitality, saying he’d see him soon in Caracas.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who is a fierce critic of Maduro, had no issue pouncing on the president via Twitter.

“I don’t know who this weirdo #Saltbae is, but the guy he is so proud to host is not the President of Venezuela. He is actually the overweight dictator of a nation where 30% of the people eat only once a day & infants are suffering from malnutrition,” Rubio wrote.

In subsequent Tweets, Rubio noted that Gokce also has a restaurant in Miami, which is home to one of the largest Venezuelan populations in the U.S., most of whom are hostile to Maduro.

On social media, Venezuelans shared mocked-up images showing Gokce doing his trade-mark salt sprinkle pose above a skeletal child.

Gokce went viral in 2017 after posting videos of himself salting meat with a cobra-like maneuver. He has over 15 million Instagram followers and has helped launch Nusr-Et restaurants, which charge several hundred dollars for some cuts of meat, in the Middle East, New York and Miami, according to Reuters.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.