The key to becoming a global food icon like Salt Bae? Four hours of sleep, nuts, and jumping rope.
If you’ve spent any time on Salt’ bae Instagram—and let’s be honest, you have it’s a treasure chest of videos involving, but not limited to, meat, fitness, tight white tees, swagger, Diddy, abs, knife acrobatics, and more meat. By all Instagram appearances, the Man Who Became a Meme—real name: Nusret Gökçe—is living the good life. But it left us with some questions. What does a professional meat man eat for a living? And how did a sensual salt sprinkler get in such good shape? So we asked him—and he answered over e-mail, busy as he is running a global steakhouse chaine.
How much meat do you actually eat?
It’s not about the amount. I have the amount of protein I need every day to fuel myself. I’m very busy.
How did you first get so interested in meat?
I needed a job to help my family growing up in Turkey. So I became a butcher. And I loved it. So here we are.
When and how did you learn the signature Salt Bae move?
I’ve been doing it for a long time, it just came naturally to me.
What is your daily workout? Or, if it changes every day, what are some of the workouts or exercises you enjoy doing most?
I prefer boxing and body-weight work. It gives me the definition and core strength I want. A lot of jumping rope, ropes, anything to not only stimulate muscle but also keep me quick. I have to be fast in the kitchen.
How do you balance your love of food with your desire to keep your body in prime shape?
They go hand in hand. I have to fuel my body to work out, and work out to eat the food I love.
How do you maintain your fitness and diet on the road, while traveling?
Jumping rope and body weight you can do anywhere. I also love to play soccer.
Who has been the most interesting or memorable celebrity to come through your restaurant?
I don’t think about the celebrities in my restaurants—they are just another guest who needs great food and great service.
At the end of each day, I saw you say you do a mental evaluation. What does that look like?
I review my day and everything that happened in the kitchen before I fall asleep. This way I can always improve.
How much do you sleep?
About 4 hours, sometimes less if it’s a busy day in the kitchen. I don’t feel exhausted. I think my diet and exercise prevent this.