LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – One of Europe’s most respected chefs, Benoît Violier, died Sunday, age 44, at his home in Crissier, not far from the Hôtel de Ville restaurant.
Police say it appears that he shot himself with a firearm in an act of suicide.
He and his wife Brigitte have run the restaurant since 2012, when they took over from Philippe Rochat, who died in 2015, while cycling.
Rochat was Fredy Girardet’s successor at the restaurant whose worldwide fame was such that a number of celebrities and heads of state have privately dined there discreetly over the years.
Benoît Violier was carrying on the tradition: he had a steady string of culinary successes after taking on the restaurant: he was named the world’s top chef recently by La Liste and in 2013 Gault-Millau named him chef of the year.
He was also well-known for his hunting skills and had published a book on game.
Vaud police say they will not be releasing any further information for the moment, out of respect for the family’s privacy.
He is survived by his wife Brigitte and a young son. The family has requested privacy to be allowed to absorb the news.
Violier was French and Swiss, from Saintes en Charente-Maritime in France.