SALT Bae’s bizarre new trick with a cigar has left baffled fans in a spin as he revealed he is plotting to create a new tobacco brand.
Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe shared the strange clip of him fondling, sniffing and inspecting cigars before resting one on his top lip and rubbing it across his face.
The internet sensation hinted he may be planning a takeover of the tobacco industry by asking his followers what they think of him making his own cigar brand.
The eccentric chef is seen in the short clip wearing a sharp pinstripe suit, a cream polar neck jumper and his signature gold-rimmed glasses.
He rotates the cigar between his fingers before oddly stroking it across his face and inhaling its aroma while twitching his nostrils.
Salt Bae is then seen carefully examining the contents of a brimming cigar box before repeating his weird trick.
Cigar connoisseurs often sniff them before smoking to somewhat preview their taste and savour the aroma.
The celebrity chef, known for his extortionate prices and extravagant steaks, is partial to a cigar – so much so that he even lights up while flying on private jets.
But fans were left puzzled by his latest over-the-top Instagram post dedicated to his smoke of choice.
Some urged the butcher to stick to the restaurant game for now, with one user commenting: “You have to learn cigar etiquette first.”
Another replied to his market research post saying: “Not if you’re going to be rubbing your nose on the cigars.”
But others were quick to praise the innovative chef’s expansion plans, with many suggesting possible names for his cigar brand.
One wrote: “You could call it… *Cigr_et*… you’re welcome,” in a nod to his 28 international Nusr-Et restaurants.
A second fan suggested Salt Bae should take inspiration from his £1,450 gold-gilded tomahawk steak when designing his cigars.
They commented: “Make a golden cigar and you can sell them for £2000 a piece!”
Some speculated he may have been spurred on to launch a tobacco brand by the generosity of a pair of diners at his London steakhouse.
Brothers Ollie and Toby Brittan were so impressed with his food that they gifted Salt Bae a £2,000 box of cigars.
The viral phenomenon also appears to be expanding his Salt Bae brand into supermarkets.
The 38-year-old has trademarked his famous nickname – along with an image of him sprinkling rock salt down his arm – for use on food items.
Applications to the UK’s Intellectual Property Office and the US Patent and Trademark Office have just been rubber-stamped, meaning chancers can’t use his name to flog goods and services.
He has now got legal protection to make processed foods and sell them wholesale, plus in shops and online.
After opening his Knightsbridge branch in September, the Turkish chef’s sky-high prices were met with mixed reviews by Brits.
One visitor was charged a staggering £1,812 for dinner.
The main courses included a £630 tomahawk steak, a £100 burger, plus £10 fries, two Cokes for £18 and four Red Bulls for £44.
And the restaurant even added a £236 service charge to the monster bill.
But despite daubing his meat in gold leaf, the boss of Salt Bae’s London restaurant admitted the extravagant decoration DOESN’T improve the taste.
Mehmed told MyLondon: “Some people, they want to just talk.
“People have complained because they have seen bills on social media for people who’ve paid £10,000 for a bottle of wine.
“But you can find these prices all around London. The service and the quality we are providing is extremely high.
“It’s more interactive than most restaurants – we cook and prepare the food in front of you, like our traditional baklava, which is a very popular dessert.”