Internet icon Salt Bay is famous for her ultra-toned gym-god physique, which she proudly shows off on Instagram.
But newly discovered images of a young Nusrat Gökke in a small poverty-stricken suburb east of the Istanbul where he grew up paint a different picture.
The son of a miner, Nusrat – one of five children – was dropped from school after primary due to financial pressure, forcing the budding chef to work from an early age.
At the age of 13 he was taken as a butcher’s apprentice, working long hours at a Turkish steakhouse for the next decade.
One set of images from the butcher shop shows a young Nusrat smiling in her crisp white uniform – while other photos show the future chef lovingly admiring some cuts of meat on a slab.
The pictures are in stark contrast to the pictures Nushrat posted on her Instagram account today.
Nowadays an oiled-up Nusrat – still wearing her signature sunglasses – can be seen working out as she travels country-to-country to please the customers at her restaurants.
In 2010, at the age of 27, Nusret opened the first Nusr-et steakhouse in Istanbul’s Atilar neighborhood with only eight tables and 10 employees.
After meeting with Turkish businessman Ferit Sahenk – who was so impressed with his food at the restaurant that he offered to invest – Nusr-et opened various locations in the Middle East, including Ankara, Doha and Dubai.
Nusrat almost overnight achieved global stardom in January 2017 after posting a 36-second video titled “Ottoman Steak” on Instagram.
The clip shows him slicing a boned steak, then demonstrating his trademark salt sprinkling – his hand shaped “like a cobra” while rock salt sprung onto the meat with his hand.
Bruno Mars tweeted the video, which immediately went viral and garnered 2.4 million views overnight. It has been viewed 17 million times so far.
The trick — and the classic white T-shirt and black jeans that would become Salt Bea’s work uniform — was born and earned her the title of “sexiest butcher on Instagram.”
“All my feelings are coming from inside the flesh, as long as I put salt on the meat,” he once explained.
Last month, the 38-year-old Nusr-Et chain opened its first UK restaurant in Knightsbridge, London – bringing the total number of Nusrette locations to 15.
Rich diners flocked to try their famous tomahawk steak, covered in 24-karat-gold.
But many balked at extortionate prices – the gold-coated meat costs £850, while the Signature Burger comes in at £100.
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