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Top chef's widow to run 'world's best' restaurant

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Top chef's widow to run 'world's best' restaurant
Benoît Violier posing with La Liste award in December 2015. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP
18:09 CET+01:00
The widow of top chef Benoît Violier, whose January 31st suicide shocked the culinary world, said she would take charge of her husband's celebrated Swiss restaurant, in an interview published on Wednesday.

Brigitte Violier told Swiss magazine L'Illustré that her husband's former sous-chef, Franck Giovannini would run the kitchen at the Restaurant de l'Hôtel de Ville Crissier, hailed as the best restaurant in the world just two
months ago.
   
"Franck Giovannini is taking responsibility for the team, while I will have responsibility for the establishment as the manager, like I was until Benoît's death," Violier was quoted as saying.
   
She said she never considered quitting following the death of her husband, who was considered one of the world's finest chefs until he was found dead with his hunting rifle by his side at his home near Lausanne.
 
 "We built this project together. I do not intend to abandon it," she told the magazine.
   
In the less than four years that the Violiers ran the restaurant, it received the maximum three Michelin stars and it was also named the "best restaurant in the world" by the French-based La Liste in December.
   
In 2013, Benoît Violier won chef-of-the-year in the prestigious Gault & Millau guide for Switzerland.
   
Brigitte Violier said she had no explanation for why her husband chose to end a life that appeared to be full and successful.
   
"He had everything - we had everything," she told the Swiss weekly.

"There is no rational explanation."

She categorically dismissed rumours circulating that her husband was the victim of a financial fraud involving rare wines.
   
"It's 100 percent false. One hundred percent false in substance and 100 percent false in the details," she said, insisting that the restaurant's financial performance was solid.
   
In an interview given four days before his death at age 44, Violier said the accolades given to his small restaurant in a village outside Lausanne did not matter, and that his priority was to ensure his clients kept coming back.

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