The Hypnotic, Herb-Chopping “Cilantro Papi” Is 2018’s Answer to Salt Bae

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(Image credit: Kitawit Jitaton)

Last year the internet fell in love with Salt Bae, the viral name for Turkish restaurateur Nusret Gökçe, whose sexy way of sprinkling salt made steak look like an aphrodisiac and won him millions of fans across the internet. Now 2018 has brought us a new viral food crush: Cilantro Papi.

Twitter user Rebecca Castañeda recently posted a video of an employee named Rogelio Rivera chopping cilantro at her father’s restaurant, El Camino Real, in Fullerton, California. Rivera’s knife skills are astonishing, and it’s deeply satisfying to watch him turn a giant log of tightly rolled-up cilantro into minced fluff with just a few quick, super-competent thrusts of his knife.

Castañeda originally posted the hypnotic video to Snapchat, and after receiving a ton of messages about how calming people found it to watch, she decided to share it with Twitter, too. It’s already been viewed more than 4.6 million times, and people are obsessed with Rogelio’s knife skills. He’s even been dubbed “Cilantro Bae” and “Cilantro Papi,” the rightful heir to Salt Bae’s crown.

The story behind the video is that Castañeda recently moved to San Diego and has a job at Chipotle. Her father, however, owns a restaurant called El Camino Real, which is frequently named among the best Mexican restaurants in California. Castañeda’s father insisted she film Rivera chopping cilantro so she could take the video back to her coworkers at Chipotle and show them how it’s done.

Chipotle certainly seems impressed, responding with just “Wowza.”

An update shows the massive log of cilantro Rivera was cutting was just the beginning, too. That huge pile of finely chopped cilantro was tossed into an enormous pot that was already filled with minced cilantro. If you stood next to it, the cilantro would reach your knee.

“That’s enough cilantro for like, a month, right??” one Twitter fan asked.

“That’s only a couple days for guac, pico de gallo, and tacos,” Castañeda laughed.

My whole life I have been one of those people who doesn’t like the taste or smell of cilantro, but this video of Rivera’s chopping is enough to make me change my mind.