The revered Swiss chef who oversaw operations at the Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville in Crissier in Switzerland, has died of shotgun injuries in what was believed to be a suicide, aged 44.
His restaurant ranked among the best in the world, reiterated by the latest La Liste (France's version of The World's 50 Best Restaurant Guide). This 2015 honour added a glow that French chefs (Violier was born in France) hold to in the face of competition from gutsy foreign culinary establishments. It has been speculated that the added pressure could have pushed the high-achieving professional over the edge in a pressured world that demands perfection.
The details of Voilier's circumstances are as yet uncertain but it has raised the issue of whether there are sufficient support structures in place for chefs grappling with the pressures of a both physically and mentally demanding job. In any respect, the culinary world is reeling in face of what is a significant loss for Chef Voilier's family, colleagues and for the culinary industry.
In a film broadcast for Fine Dining Lovers in November 2012 chef Benoît Violier talks about his work at the Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville in Crissier, near Lausanne. He says honesty, hard work and collaboration are the pillars of his career. Photograph: Marcel Gillieron/AFP/Getty Image
In Hong Kong, the Samaritans can be contacted through their website or on a 24 hour Telephone Service Hotline (2896 0000) for multilingual suicide prevention services.