Temasek, GIC in talks to buy stake in Salt Bae restaurant group

Temasek Holdings and GIC are said to be close to buying a minority stake in a group of high-end restaurants, including the Nusr-Et Steakhouse where famed Turkish chef Salt Bae presides.

The Financial Times reported that Temasek, GIC and Metric Capital, a London-based investment firm, are in talks over the potential purchase of D.ream Group, a subsidiary of Dogus Group, which owns the restaurants.

The investment would include about US$200 million (S$263 million) of equity, and would also involve the restaurants Coya, Zuma and Roka, the FT reported.

Temasek, GIC and Metric Capital declined to comment.

Salt Bae is the nickname of butcher and chef Nusret Gokce, whose videos depict him chopping meat and then adding seasoning in a theatrical manner, a move which is also called a "Salt Bae".

He rose to fame in January last year after he posted a video to the Nusr-Et Twitter page showing him preparing a steak. His unusual way of applying salt caught the attention of netizens.

The original video has since amassed 11 million views on Twitter, as well as 99,000 retweets and 124,000 likes. The same video on Instagram has 16.2 million views.

Butcher and chef Nusret Gokce, who is nicknamed Salt Bae, showing his signature salting technique at Nusr-Et Steakhouse in Manhattan.PHOTO: NYTIMES

Chef Gokce learnt his techniques working as an apprentice at a local butcher shop from the age of 13.

He then travelled to Argentina to master meat before returning to Turkey to open the first Nusr-Et Steakhouse in Istanbul in 2010.

After he fed Turkish billionaire Ferit Sahenk, the chairman of Dogus Holding, the group invested heavily in him. Nusr-Et now has restaurants in New York, Miami, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2018, with the headline 'Temasek, GIC in talks to buy stake in Salt Bae restaurant group'. Subscribe