Salt Bae Yields to Health Code, Spanks Steaks with Gloves

The living meme cleans up his act.

By Ethan L. Johns
February 01, 2018

Image: Tristar Media/Getty Images

After an Eater report pointed out some cleanliness issues at his new New York City steakhouse, Salt Bae has cleaned up his act and donned some tight black gloves to match his tight white t-shirts.

In January, Nusret Gökçe—better known by everyone in the universe as “Salt Bae”—opened a New York outpost of his Nusr-Et steakhouse (his second in the US), where he performs the signature salt toss that made him a pop culture legend. The only problem? That toss has been pretty blatantly flouting the NYC health code.

How? The theatrics of Mr. Bae’s performance generally include a tableside caress of your steak. He comes, he massages, he spanks, he slices, he salts, he repeats at your neighbor’s table. And until that practice started to attract attention this week, he was doing it all without wearing gloves.

Yet, according to article 81.07(j) of the NYC Department of Health’s code, food cannot be handled by bare fingers and hands unless it is getting cooked afterward. And Mr. Bae’s steaks are certainly well-handled. In addition to this, the DOH also prohibits the wearing of jewelry while handling food, save for smooth, wedding band-style rings and medical alert bracelets. Mr. Bae wears a sizeable gold watch.

But fear not; even salty baes are capable of learning their lessons. In a photo tweeted on Tuesday by a steakhouse diner, Salt Bae can be seen sporting plastic mitts with no gold watch in sight.

Is there anything in the healthcode about salt being bounced off of nude elbows? We’ll have to get back to you on that one.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns