Expatica news

Swiss authorities: new lead on missing gourmand

7 August 2008

GENEVA – Authorities in Switzerland believe they may have a new lead into the disappearance of Pascal Henry, a 46-year-old gourmand who vanished outside the world-famous El Bulli restaurant in Roses, Gerona, in July.

Henry, a motorbike courier from Geneva, was in the middle of a grand tour of the world’s finest eateries – he was aiming to have a meal in all 68 of Michelin three-star-rated restaurants within 68 days – when he disappeared.

But with a meager salary, it would have been impossible for him to have accomplished this feat without assistance. Police in Geneva, who are treating the case as a missing person investigation, say they believe someone may have financed at least half of his trip.

Witnesses reported seeing Henry meeting on several occasions with a person, who has yet to be identified, at the Vertigo restaurant in Geneva before he embarked on his tour.

Meanwhile, Swiss news media reports say that Henry’s “mysterious benefactor” was “an important businessman in the restaurant or gastronomy industry,” but also haven’t been able to identify that person.

Patrick Puhl of the Geneva police said investigators were working closely with Henry’s family and friends to clear up the mystery.

“There are some matters that have allowed the investigation to go forward, even though it is already in Interpol’s hands,” Puhl said.

“And if we find him, we don’t have any obligation to inform the public or the media if Henry doesn’t want us to,” Puhl added, explaining that “every adult has the right to disappear”.

The case became a public enigma when famed chef Paul Bocuse, who met Henry at his Paris restaurant and paved the way for him to meet other top chefs, including El Bulli’s Ferran Adrià, asked for help in locating his friend.

[El Pais / R. Carrizo Couto / Expatica]