Police: Famous Chef Violier Allegedly Kills Self

Well-known chef Benoit Violier was found dead Jan. 31 in his home located near Lausanne. Police suspect his death was from a gunshot wound he inflicted upon himself. Violier was 44.

Violier’s three-star Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville is located in western Switzerland and recently hit the list for the world’s finest places for its game specialties. It’s one of three 3-star restaurants in the area, and Violier’s serves an array of dishes like the crisp Landes duck foie gras, saddle of Pyrenean young lamb and “back from winter hunting” dish… all dependent on the deliveries of the day.

Two years ago, the popular chef was given Swiss citizenship.

In 2015, the French government-sponsored list had ranked his restaurant first of the top 1,000. GaultMillau Suisse, a famous, influential guide, noted him as being the best chef for 2013. The guide noted that the chef’s amazing cuisine and gave him an overwhelming 19/20 score – the same score the late Phillipe Rochat was given. Rochat was Violier’s well-known predecessor and mentor for the Hotel de Ville.

Violier’s death occurred just hours before the dreaded 2016 edition of Michelin Guide. The Swiss edition is set for release in October.

Violier was born Aug. 22, 1971 in Saintes, located in western France and near Cognac. He was just 20 when he began training for creating fine cuisine with many well-known chefs like the Fauchon and Lenotre luxury catering houses, Hotel Ritz and restaurant La Tour d’Argent in Paris and Joel Robuchon.

In 1996, Violier came to the Crissier’s Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville, a move that came two years before the restaurant received its third Michelin star, a highly sought-after culinary world award.

In 2012, Violier and his wife Brigitte took the establishment over and maintained its coveted rating in the infamous red guide. He garnered worldwide appreciation for his delicious cuisine of combining his art of cooking game with hunting.

He authored two reference cooking books.

Violier’s death is similar to Bernard Loiseau, the La Cote d’Or restaurant owner, who was found dead next to a hunting rifle three years go. His death came after his restaurant was downgraded and the possibility that he’d lose a star in the Michelin guide.

Loiseau’s widow Dominque now owns the Bernard-Loiseau Realis and its chef is Patrick Berton On Monday, the 2016 Michelin guide revealed it had lost its third star.

A number of chefs have protested about the pressure and judgment these guides have in calling the shots on what restaurant has the best tables.

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