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L’Hotel de Ville Benoit Violier’s number two named as successor

Giovannini (pictured) had worked alongside Violier for two decades.

(Keystone)

Franck Giovannini has been named head chef of the restaurant L’Hotel de Ville in Crissier, near Lausanne, following the suicide of renowned chef Benoit Violier on January 31.

The 41-year-old Giovannini is a long-time friend and colleague of the late Violier, having worked in Crissier with him and his mentors Fredy Girardet and Philippe Rochat. His culinary creations will appear on L'Hotel de Ville's spring menu.

In addition to Giovannini, from Tramelan, Bern, the leadership of the restaurant now rests with Violier’s widow Brigitte Violier, as well as restaurant manager Alessandro Egidi.

Tragic loss

Violier, a citizen of France and recently of Switzerland, was found dead at the age of 44 in his apartment on January 31. Vaud cantonal police ruled a suicide. His untimely death, which shocked the world, is being investigated.

Violier and his wife took over L’Hotel de Ville from Philippe Rochat in 2012, who himself passed away last year in a bicycling accident.

The famed restaurant was named the world’s best in December by France’s La Liste, and boasts three Michelin stars, as well as 19 out of 20 Gault Millau points.

Violier’s funeral, held on February 5 at the Lausanne Cathedral, was attended by some 1,500 of the world’s most famous chefs and restaurateurs. 

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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