This Michelin-Starred Chef Can't Stand Salt Bae

Restaurant prices always receive comments, especially those run by Salt Bae. When he opened a location in London in September, Business Insider covered what they described as the "eye-popping" prices he charged. $850 for a steak? Yeah, that is a lot. 

And in the view of Daniel Clifford, the chef of the two Michelin star restaurant Midsummer House, the experience Salt Bae provides does not prove itself worthy of the price tag. Talking to The Staff Canteen, he explained that in Paris you could easily expect to pay £180 or about $250 for a main course. When ordering multiple courses for multiple people, you could easily reach $1000. But, he maintained, the experience of eating at such a restaurant is worth it. "Beautiful prawns," Clifford stated, "they're not cheap. Nothing's cheap that comes in the door and the labour cost is absolutely astronomical." The alluded labor involves both the sourcing exquisite ingredients and the competent cooking of them. To do both of these things sustainably requires a lot of money.  That's the simple if banal truth. 

Salt Bae is different though

If Michelin starred restaurants charge a lot money because the meal is deemed worth it by the restaurant's patrons, Daniel Clifford strongly believes that Salt Bae's restaurants cannot possibly be considered worth it.  "Do you want a [£630] steak cooked by Mickey Mouse," he asked The Staff Canteen, "or do you want to come to a two star restaurant where you've got 15 chefs that care about everything that they do? There's a big difference isn't there." One charges a lot of money for a social media gimmick while the other has a whole operation devoted to cooking as close to perfection as they can.

However, the restaurant boss Nikolas Opacic told the Evening Standard that Salt Bae was a genius. If you think about it, anyone who can market a restaurant so successfully that it still gets booked out despite its ludicrously expensive menu is. Furthermore, the only people who would really complain about these prices are those who could neither afford nor would eat at his restaurant anyway. So, it doesn't matter. In that sense, he might be providing the experience that Daniel Clifford would have as the preserve of Michelin starred restaurants. Admittedly, that experience mostly consists of spending egregious amounts of money on a steak.