Swiss police say 3-star chef Benoit Violier, whose restaurant near Lausanne recently topped a list of the world’s best, has been found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot. He was 44.
Police said in a statement that Mr Violier was found dead in his home late on Sunday afternoon in the municipality of Crissier.
An investigation has been opened to determine the exact circumstances of the death, police said.
Mr Violier’s establishment, the Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville in Crissier, served dishes such as saddle of Pyrenean young lamb and crispy Landes duck foie gras.
Last year, it was ranked first on a French government-sponsored list of the world’s top 1,000 restaurants.
The gastronomic guide is the French foreign ministry’s answer to the Britain-based World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Celebrating the win, Mr Violier said at the time: “It’s wonderful, it’s exceptional for us. This ranking will only motivate our team more.”
Police said an investigation had been opened into the death.
The statement added that Mr Violier’s family had asked for privacy.
Opened nearly 40 years ago, the restaurant offers menus ranging from 195 Swiss francs (€175) to 380 Swiss francs.
The Swiss news website 24 Heures said that Mr Violier had been due to attend the launch of the new Michelin guide in Paris yesterday.
His death comes only months after that of Philippe Rochat, his mentor and predecessor at the Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville, who fell ill while cycling.
Having worked at the restaurant since 1996, Mr Violier took it over along with his wife Brigitte in 2012.
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