Last year, Salt Bae taught us how to make cooking more extra, because honestly, we could all use a little more extra in our lives. The way he treated his steaks and other meats was unlike anything we'd ever seen before. Honestly, they seemed to have a beautiful relationship. But Salt Bae, whose real name is Nusret Gökçe, recently tainted that relationship — and his relationship with the general public — with one misguided culinary choice. These tweets about Salt Bae using American cheese slices on his steak might make you cry... or scream.
It all started on Jan. 24, when Gökçe took to Instagram to post a new video of himself and his beloved steak. His followers thought it would be another classic video of him slapping, caressing, and prepping his steak — eventually adding the garnishes, and of course, the salt. To be fair, it did start out that way. However, after the initial fat trimming and butterflying, things took an ugly turn.
After dropping the steak onto the hot grill and watching the sizzle, the camera fades out. In the next shot, we see Gökçe place what appears to be processed, pre-sliced cheese inside the steak, along with asparagus. As someone who tried Kraft American Singles once as a child and refused to ever eat them again, the video was both shocking and upsetting to me. Even his signature salt sprinkle at the end couldn't save this travesty.
Now, listen. There is nothing wrong with cheese on a steak. I no longer eat red meat, but when I did, I was certainly known to indulge in a cheesesteak. Ask any Philadelphian, and they'll let you know that not only is a cheesesteak normal, but it's a delicious marriage of two things people love: cheese and steak. Where's the harm there?
The problem with Gökçe's version is the type of cheese he's using. Pre-sliced? Processed? Not exactly the kind of culinary technique I'd be showing off if. Honestly, I don't know how I feel about the asparagus, either, but that's a conversation for a different time.
Salt Bae fans were not pleased and took to Twitter to discuss the controversial video.
"Are we being trolled?"
Some speculated about what kind of cheese it actually was.
What do you think — Velveeta or Kraft Singles?
One user was more bothered by the asparagus than the cheese.
To that I ask, are you okay?
Comments on the original video include, "NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY," "cheese selection all wrong," and "struggle slice gone gourmet." Honestly, that last comment has a point; maybe Gökçe was trying to appeal to college students.
For his part, Gökçe doesn't seem to be too bothered by his critics. The chef followed up on Jan. 25 with a promotional video for Fox's new competitive singing series, The Four, which features Diddy as a judge. Sure, we may be over here bashing Gökçe's sad attempt at a cheesesteak. But at the end of the day, he's friends with Diddy, so he's definitely still winning.
The video comes about a week after the opening of Gökçe's New York Nusr-Et steakhouse, located in midtown and complete with a giant mural of Gökçe himself. The menu includes a number of steakhouse favorites, including steak tartare, beef tenderloin, and filet mignon — the kind of stuff we're used to seeing on Gökçe's Instagram. If Gökçe's "cheesesteak" has ruined steak for you, they also offer lamb, burgers, and Turkish sausage. For dessert, your choice of söbiyet, orange truffle, vanilla ice cream, or baklava. Alright, now I'm hungry again.
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