Chef Benoit Violier, whose restaurant was named the best in the world in December 2015, has been found dead at his home in Switzerland.
French-born Benoit Violier, 44, ran the Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville in Crissier, near the city of Lausanne.
The restaurant earned three Michelin stars and came top in France’s La Liste ranking of the world’s 1,000 best eateries.
Swiss police said Benoit Violier is believed to have killed himself.
The chef’s death comes some six months after that of Philippe Rochat, his mentor and predecessor at the Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville.
Having worked at the restaurant since 1996, Benoit Violier took it over along with his wife Brigitte in 2012, before obtaining Swiss nationality.
A keen hunter, Benoit Violier was known for signature dishes including game and produced a weighty book on game meat in 2015.
Accepting the French award, given by France’s foreign ministry as an alternative to the World’s Best 50 Restaurants prize, Benoit Violier said it was an “exceptional” honor.
Swiss chef Fredy Girardet, who also received three Michelin stars, told 24 Heures that he was “dumbfounded” by the news.
“He was a brilliant man,” he said.
“Such talent, and an amazing capacity for work. He was so kind, with so many qualities. He gave the impression of being perfect.”