Tributes come from all over for Benoit Violier ‘world’s best chef’

Tributes come from all over for Benoit Violier ‘world’s best chef’


The world’s top chefs, restaurateurs and food critics have been paying tribute to Benoit Violier, who was found dead at his home in Switzerland.The 44-year-old’s Swiss restaurant came top of the French La Liste ranking of the world’s 1,000 best eateries.La Liste expressed its sadness at the death of this “exceptional chef”, who ran the Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville in Crissier, near Lausanne.Swiss police said the French-born chef appeared to have shot himself.His death followed the loss last year of both his father and the man he regarded as a second father, chef and mentor Philippe Rochat, who died from a cycling injury in July.

But the BBC’s Lucy Williamson in Paris says the apparent suicide has also re-opened a debate about the pressures of cooking at this level, with some blaming the death in 2003 of top chef Bernard Loiseau on his fear of losing a Michelin star.After his restaurant gained the ultimate accolade in November, Mr Violier told the New York Times that he felt “heavy responsibility to be named number one”.His death came just hours before the launch of Michelin’s French listings, which began with a minute’s silence as a mark of respect.Among those lauded at the event was Christian Le Squer, whose restaurant at Paris hotel the George V gained a star, but the chef said he was in no mood to celebrate.”The whole gastronomic world is in tears because we lost a great colleague and friend,” he said.


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