World’s Top Chefs Mourn the Death of Benoît Violier

The 44-year-old chef had been called the “world’s greatest chef” after earning three Michelin stars and the top spot in France’s La Liste for Le Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville when he died of an apparent suicide. 

On the other hand, Violier had lost his mentor and predecessor at the Restaurant, Philippe Rochat, in July of 2015, only three years after taking over the restaurant.

For many, the death highlighted the hidden pressures of haute-cuisine culture. For others, it was simply a time to mourn the loss of a gifted, world-class chef.

The chef, who originally hailed from Saintes, came to Paris in the 1990s and studied under Joel Robuchon and Benoît Guichard before joining Rochat in Crissier at the Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville, which he took over after Rochat’s retirement in 2012. Violier later became a Swiss citizen. In December of last year, the French government’s La Liste—a compilation of the thousand best restaurants in the world—named Le Restaurant the best restaurant in the world.