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Lausanne cathedral packed for top chef's funeral

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Photo: Laurent Gillieron/Pool/AFP
12:27 CET+01:00
More than 1,500 people filled Lausanne's cathedral on Friday for the funeral of Benoît Violier, the top French-Swiss chef who died in an apparent suicide.

Violier, 44, who ran a restaurant ranked the best in the world by the French government, was found dead on Sunday at his home in the village of Crissier, near Lausanne, in the canton of Vaud.

Family members, chefs, politicians, sports figures and other celebrities paid homage to the chef, whose Hôtel de Ville restaurant is one of only three in Switzerland given three stars by the Michelin Guide.

Police have not released the results of a criminal investigation into Violier's death.

But media have widely reported that he shot himself with a gun.

His death came a little more than a month after La Liste, compiled for the French ministry of foreign affairs and France's tourist board, ranked the Hôtel de Ville as the world's best restaurant.

But he told the French daily Libération that having three Michelin stars and being named as the best in the world by La Liste did not matter to him.

"It's all about clients coming back," he said in the interview published Tuesday.

He appeared to worry that his success would not last and that customers would not always be prepared to pay the 200 to 300 francs for a typical meal at his establishment, which he had run with his wife Brigitte since 2012.

Violier also left behind a 12-year-old son.

At the cathedral service, Switzerland's most well-known chefs, including Frédy Girardet, whose family started the Hôtel de Ville, and Anton Mosimann, were in attendance.

Cabinet ministers from the Vaud cantonal government and the mayor of Lausanne also took places in the church's pews.

Organist Jean-Christophe Geiser told 20 Minutes newspaper he "never seen" so many people in the cathedral.

World champion alpine skiing star Didier Cuche was among those present, as well as André Kudelski, an industrialist who was part owner of the Hôtel de Ville restaurant.

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Violier was to be buried on Saturday in Saintes, a town in the French region of Charente-Maritime, where he was born. 


   

 

 

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