Star chefs turn out for funeral of tragic colleague Violier

5th February 2016, Comments 0 comments

Some of the world's most famous restaurateurs joined around 1,500 mourners Friday at the Swiss funeral of star chef Benoit Violier, who killed himself last weekend.

Violier, 44, shot himself Sunday two months after his Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville at Crissier near Lausanne was named the "best in the world" by the French-based La Liste guide.

Big name chefs including Joel Robuchon, Marc Veyrat and Anne-Sophie Pic, who like Violier were part of the elite group to have three Michelin stars, paid their respects at the funeral service in Lausanne cathedral.

Fredy Girardet, regarded as one of 20th century's greatest cooks and under whom Violier worked before he took over the Crissier restaurant himself, was also there to support the late chef's widow Brigitte and his 12-year-old son.

Brigitte Violier reopened the restaurant on Tuesday two days after her husband's death after gathering its 54 staff to decide how they should react to the tragedy.

"That which was built by Benoit Violier was built to last," one of the restaurant's shareholders, industrialist Andre Kudelski told the Swiss daily 24 Hours. This is not about money, this is "a human question, about people and families," he added.

Violier, a keen hunter, who specialised in game dishes and had written a 1,000-page encyclopaedia of European game fowl dishes, was found with his hunting rifle by his side.

He will be buried near his childhood home in Saintes in the Charente Maritime region of western France where he grew up among his parents' vineyards.

Friends and colleagues said Violier may have been affected by the sudden death six months ago of his mentor Philippe Rochat, whom he succeeded at Crissier in 2012.

His deputy Franck Giovannini is now reported to be leading the kitchen there.

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© 2016 AFP

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