Chef Benoit Violier, known as ‘the world’s best chef’, has died of an apparent suicide.
Violier was found dead in his home in Crissier, Switzerland late Sunday afternoon (Jan. 31).
According to Swiss police, the 44-year-old chef died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. An investigation is ongoing to determine the exact circumstances surrounding his death.
Violier, who was born in France, was owner and head chef of the three Michelin-starred Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville in Crissier.
According to the Swiss news site 24 Heures, Violier was expected to attend the launch of the new Michelin Guide in Paris on Feb. 1.
“The planet is an orphan of this exceptional Chef, Benoît Violier. I’m wiped out.” French Chef Marc Veyrat, the former owner of la Maison de Marc Veyrat, tweeted on Monday.
Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville recently placed first on the inaugural edition of La Liste – a ranking of the world 1,000 best restaurants.
“The team of La Liste is deeply saddened by the loss of Benoit Violier,” Philippe Faure, President of the French Tourism Board and Founder of La Liste, said in a statement posted on the list’s website. “Our thoughts are with his wife, relatives and the Crissier team.”
Born in Saintes, Charente-Maritime, France, Violier moved to Paris in 1991 to study cuisine with Joël Robuchon, who was named Chef of the Century by Gault & Millau. He would moved to Switzerland five years later to work with Chef Philippe Rochat at Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville. Violier would begin running the restaurant following Rochat’s retirement in 2012.
As an avid hunter, Violier became known for his recipes featuring game and local, seasonal products.
“A sad day as we mourn the loss of one of the greats,” Per Se Chef Thomas Keller tweeted.
After taking over Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville, Fine Dining Lovers filmed the following behind the scenes video of Violier in his kitchen.