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Violier, far left, and his successor Giovannini, far right.
Violier, far left, and his successor Giovannini, far right.
Restaurant Crissier

Following the recent death of acclaimed French-Swiss chef Benoît ViolierSwitzerland's three Michelin-starred Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville Crissier has appointed a new head chef to succeed him: Franck Giovannini.

According to, Giovannini was Violier's "number two" at Restaurant Crissier, and the two had been friends and colleagues for two decades. Giovannini was the first Swiss-born chef to snag a medal at the prestigious Bocuse d'Or culinary competition, winning bronze in 2007.

Violier, 44, was found dead in his Switzerland home on January 31; police have ruled it a suicide. But what would drive Violier, whose restaurant was named best in the world by France's prestigious La Liste last December, to take his own life?

Some have speculated that, in addition to the intense pressures of running a top restaurant, the recent deaths of Violier's two mentors could be to blame. Swiss magazine Bilan alleges that Violier was the victim of a large-scale wine scam that put the restaurant in major financial jeopardy. But, per the Associated Press, Violier's widow says she can't explain her husband's suicide, denying that financial troubles or a supposed wine scam were to blame.