Bamboo tent noodle seller targeted by police

Written by Staff Writer by Lauren Hathaway, CNN

A Vietnamese noodle seller in the country has said he was summoned by police after a parody video depicting him using barbecue salt to make his noodles went viral.

The video, which was posted last week, was created by graphic designers and comedians Tran Thi Quang and Nguyen Hoang Phuong.

It has been viewed by more than 380,000 people and sees the famous Vietnamese chef praising the new technique — termed “Salt Bae” — on camera.

“Now you know how I make perfect chicken and noodles,” he says.

“This is what a Noodle Man is made of,” according to its title.

‘Salt Bae’ is a name given to the buff Turkish chef, Ali Agaci, who became an overnight celebrity in 2016 after a video of him finishing a plate of Turkish delight in just 77 seconds went viral.

Served with a homemade salad made of greens that critics have dubbed “terror cucumbers,” the new video spotlights the gritty training that was required to become a Master Noodle-Maker.

However, some food critics have slammed the clip saying it lacks authenticity and professionalism.

‘Just nonsense’

Entrepreneur Nguyen Quoc Cong was surprised to learn of his police summons.

He told CNN by phone that he didn’t know the pair made the video and said they “just made rubbish” and are “tired because they’re busy with photo shoots and promo videos.”

Entrepreneur Nguyen Quoc Cong, who wasn’t involved in the video, said it “is just nonsense.” Credit: Sitthixay Ditthavong

“Honestly, if this video had been made for my business, I would have shown it. I love the ‘Salt Bae’ phenomenon,” he said.

The Facebook page for the restaurant he owns — called Nam Noodle — has been bombarded with comments from both diners and fans of the restaurant.

One Facebook user, James Hoffmeier, shared a screenshot of the restaurant’s Facebook page where they posted a photo of what appears to be a photo showing his restaurant’s restaurant.

“He ripped off my business and made money off me. … We are not going to buy from this person,” he posted.

Though Vietnamese police did not reveal what prompted the summons, Agaci told CNN by phone that it was a “very” “stupid” situation.

Branded ‘Potato Nugget’

Agaci has been born and raised in Turkey. He used to sell meat kebabs to Turkish housewives in his home village before traveling to the US. He used to work as a chef at First Watch BBQ before moving to Texas to open Gagangdol Caddell, also known as Salt Bae, and selling so-called “potato nipples.”

For over a year, the funny images of the chef, which were captioned with “Salt Bae,” helped boost the brands’ popularity. Now the Turkish chef is known as the “Potato Nugget” in Turkey.

Thanks to Salt Bae’s fame, the New York-based First Watch got its first successful franchising deal in November 2016 to create 55 new locations across 20 states.

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