LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Benoit Violier, regarded as the world's best chef after his small Swiss restaurant received accolades in December, was found dead, of an apparent suicide.
The French-born Violier, 44, ran the Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville in Crissier, Switzerland, near Lausanne, with his wife Brigitte since 2012, having worked there since 1996. It was the recipient of three Michelin stars, indicating quality dining, and in December was listed as number one on France's La Liste ranking, by the French foreign ministry, of the world's 1,000 best restaurants. In 2013 he was named chef of the year by the Gault and Millau guide, another restaurant reference. His death came months after his mentor and predecessor at the restaurant, Philippe Rochat, died after becoming ill while bicycling.
"It would seem that he has ended his life with a firearm," a statement by Swiss police said, adding an investigation would begin. Violier was found in his home Sunday.
An avid hunter, Violier was known for signature meals involving local game; he recently published a book on the topic.