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.
— Thomas Keller (@Chef_Keller) February 1, 2016
So sad to hear of Benoit Violier. One of the world's best pic.twitter.com/LggH92mfcJ
— James Martin (@jamesmartinchef) February 1, 2016
The entire Relais & Châteaux family is saddened to learn the disappearance of Benoît Violier. All our thougths go to his family and team.
— Relais & Châteaux (@RelaisChateaux) February 1, 2016
La planète est orpheline de ce Chef d'exception, Benoît Violier. Je suis anéanti.
— Marc Veyrat (@marcveyrat) January 31, 2016
Grand chef, grand homme, gigantesque talent. Toutes nos pensées vont vers la famille et les proches de Benoit Violier.
— Paul Bocuse (@PaulBocuse) January 31, 2016
Terriblement attristée par la disparition brutale de Benoît Violier. Une pensée affectueuse à sa famille, à ses équipes.Je n'ai pas de mots.
— AnneSophiePic (@AnneSophiePic) January 31, 2016
Mes pensées vont à la famille de Benoît Violier. Une bien triste nouvelle pour un chef extrêmement talentueux…
— Pierre Gagnaire (@PierreGagnaire) January 31, 2016
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.