- Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro ate at the viral chef Salt Bae’s restaurant, Nusr-Et, in Istanbul on Monday.
- Many people, including US Sen. Marco Rubio, have criticised the chef for serving Maduro while people go hungry in Venezuela.
- Branches of Nusr-Et have gotten one-star reviews on sites like TripAdvisor from people expressing disgust at the support for Maduro.
People are leaving one-star reviews on TripAdvisor and Google of restaurants run by the viral chef known as “Salt Bae” after he served an expensive steak dinner to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro this week.
Salt Bae, whose real name is Nusret Gokce, received widespread criticism after footage of him flamboyantly serving Maduro at an Istanbul branch of his Nusr-Et restaurant chain went viral.
Mientras tanto el gobernante de Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, visita al reconocido chef, Salt Bae, en Turquía y disfruta de un delicioso manjar junto a la “primera combatiente” Cilia Flores. #DimeAlgo pic.twitter.com/tGieG9GV8J
— Yusnaby Pérez (@Yusnaby) September 17, 2018
Gokce appears to have deleted two tweets promoting the meeting amid the backlash, which has focused on the poor optics of Maduro feasting on expensive steak while many of his people are starving because of Venezuela’s crippled economy.
Now, people have started using review platforms to punish Gokce with one-star reviews of Nusr-Et.
Business Insider identified 15 one-star reviews across the portfolio of Nusr-Et restaurants, mainly of the Turkish branches.
One review, written partly in Spanish, called Nusr-Et “immoral” for hosting Maduro.
Another for a branch in the Besiktas district of Istanbul said: “The owner of this restaurant supports a dictator who is killing millions in Venezuela. Don’t support this type of restaurant. While Maduro is having a feast at his restaurant, millions are living in Venezuela without food, medicine.”
Another wrote: “Don’t support the owner’s lack of ethics and display of support to a character that is starving millions of people in Venezuela. This is simply disgusting. Don’t know if dishes are good or not but you have to also take in consideration the place working ethics.”
The author attached photos of starving people in Venezuela.
A user named Marco Gomez left a one-star review and called it “food for dictators,” while someone else left a one-star review on the Besiktas restaurant’s TripAdvisor page with a similar message, saying, “No more dictator support.”
Maduro was in Istanbul for a stop-off on his way from China, where he went to ask for more loans for his economically stricken country.
Recent polls of Venezuelans have found that many struggle to afford food, and the country often sees mass protests because of economic hardship. The government has advised Venezuelans to breed rabbits for food as a way to beat their hunger.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has been one of the most vocal critics of Gokce, tweeting on Monday, “This guy @nusr_ett who admires dictator @NicolasMaduro so much actually owns a steakhouse in, of all places, #Miami.” He posted the Miami restaurant’s phone number as well.
Rubio told the Miami Herald on Tuesday: “This is someone who is celebrating a criminal. Nicolás Maduro is systematically starving the people of Venezuela.”
A Venezuelan protestor was outside the Miami restaurant on Tuesday holding a sign saying “Nusr-Et: We demand a PUBLIC and IMMEDIATE apology!”
— Tomás Manrique Miami (@TManriqueMiami) September 19, 2018
A larger protest is scheduled for midday Wednesday, the Herald reported.
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