Salt Bae's real name is Nusret Gokce.


Salt Bae faces $5 million copyright lawsuit


DUBAI – Popular restaurateur Salt Bae, whose real name is Nusret Gokce, is facing a $5 million lawsuit in New York for allegedly using an artist’s work without permission.

US-based artist Logan Hicks said that his mural of Salt Bae in his signature salt-sprinkling pose was illegally used on the menus, displays and labels in his restaurants in the UAE, Qatar, Turkey and Greece.

“Defendants were engaging in widespread, unauthorised distribution and use of the original works,” according to the lawsuit.

“Defendants also unilaterally decided that they would instead unlawfully adapt, create and distribute unauthorised derivative versions of the original works … to display in Nusr-Et steakhouse locations in at least Abu Dhabi, Ankara, Etiler, Mykonos and Bodrum Yalikavak Marina.”

Hicks said that although his mural of Salt Bae was originally commissioned by the Turkish chef himself, the contract specified the terms of use and dictates that its copyright belonged to the artist.

The Brooklyn artist said that despite a cease-and-desist letter he sent to Salt Bae last year, the Turkish chef’s companies continued to use his art in Doha, Turkey, Boston, Dallas and other locations.

There was no immediate comment from Salt Bae, who runs popular steakhouses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. ICA/Expat Media

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