Better known for being crownedthe “world’s best restaurant” by France’s La Listeranking last December, the sudden death ofBenoit Violier has shocked theworld of gastronomy.

The 44-year-old ran the three-star Michelin eaterie Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville in Crissier, near the city of Lausanne in Switzerland. Benoit dedicated nearly ten years to the restaurant, starting in 1996 and having taken over the establishment fullyin 2012. Born in La Rochelle,the French coastal city,Violier’s career has strengthenedover the years, having beennamed Chef of the Year in 2013 by the influential Gault & Millau guide, second only to the Michelin guide among gourmets.With a penchant for hunting, his cuisine was renowned for including seasonal treats from the local area.The news of his death comes a mere six months after that of his mentor at l’Hotel de Ville, Philippe Rochat.

Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville, which boasts three Michelin stars, was named the best of 1,000 top eateries across 48 countries ranked by France’s foreign ministry. News of Benoit’s tragic death has affected the culinary world alike with world renowned chefs such as Pierre Gagnairehavingtweeted: “My thoughts go out to Benoit Violier’s family. Very sad news about an extremely talented chef.”

At present the Swiss police have issued a statement saying”Late in the afternoon, police… went to Crissierwhere they discovered at his home the body of Mr Benoit Violier.” With a suggestionthat the death had been a result of suicide,Swiss police said an investigation had been opened into Mr Violier’s death. Out of respect for the family no further comment has been made.