Nusret Gokce, the chef who went viral because of the way he flamboyantly plates up his salted meat dishes, earning the moniker Salt Bae, posted three videos to his Instagram account on Monday (local time) of Mr Maduro dining at his Istanbul restaurant. The socialist president was traveling back from China where he sought aid for his impoverished nation.
During the visit, former bus driver Maduro, who likes to style himself as the "worker president", was surrounded by armed Turkish guards.
China eased Venezuela's debt repayment conditions in 2016 with the South American country gripped by an economic crisis. Recent reports say almost 79% of the nation's residents are unable to "feed themselves" on a daily basis. He said to reporters, "We shared (a meal) at a famous restaurant with (the chef) Nusret Gokce, I send him a greeting from here". He loves Venezuela, he told me several times: 'I love Venezuela.
He has over 15 million Instagram followers and has helped launch Nusr-Et restaurants, which charge several hundred dollars for some cuts of meat, in the Middle East, New York and Miami.
He also walked into a social media storm after a celebrity chef in Turkey had posted videos of Maduro gorging on juicy chunks of meat and sucking on a cigar at a trendy restaurant in Istanbul during a stopover in which he is believed to have met in secret with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Citizens face food and medicine shortages while public services such as transport, electricity and water have been hit by failures.
Venezuela is mired in a profound economic crisis. Eighty-seven percent were assessed to live in poverty. Since then, Rubio has pushed for tougher sanctions against the Latin American country, has encouraged a military coup against Maduro, and has spoke in favor of USA military intervention in Venezuela.
"I don't know who this weirdo (hash) Saltbae is, but the guy he is so proud to host is not the President of Venezuela". "He is actually the overweight dictator of a nation where 30 per cent of the people eat only once a day", the senator tweeted, and "infants are suffering from malnutrition".
The senator then discovered that the salt-slinging meme chef owns a steakhouse in downtown Miami, tweeting out its address and phone number "in case anyone wanted to call".