Chef Benoit Violier, whose Swiss restaurant was named the best in the world in December, has been found dead at his home.
Mr Violier, 44, ran the Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville in Crissier, near the city of Lausanne.
It earned three Michelin stars and came top in France's La Liste ranking of the world's 1,000 best eateries.
Swiss police said Mr Violier, who was born in France, appeared to have shot himself.
Philippe Rochat, his mentor and predecessor at the Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville, fell ill while cycling a few months ago.
Friends and colleagues said Violier may have been affected by the sudden death six months ago of said, whom he succeeded at Crissier.
Having worked at the restaurant since 1996, Mr Violier took it over along with his wife Brigitte in 2012, later obtaining Swiss nationality. The couple has a 12 year old son.
A keen hunter, he was known for signature dishes including game and produced a weighty book on game meat last year. The restaurant's menus ranged from a quick lunch menu at 195 Swiss francs ($191; £134) to a “discovery” set menu priced at 380 Swiss francs.
According to a biography on his website, Mr Violier grew up in a family of seven children in the town of Saintes, in western France. His passion for gastronomy was inspired by his mother from a young age, while he learned about wine, cognac and hunting from his father.
He moved to Paris in 1991, training with top French chefs including Joel Robuchon and Benoit Guichard.
He said his time there taught him “rigour, discipline and the art of the beautiful gesture”.
In an indication of the standards he held himself to, he said: “Nothing is ever definitive, everything must be repeated every day.”
Athough a very talented and exceptional chef he showed disdain for the star system he was a part of.
Such was his disdain for the star system around which the world of haute cuisine revolves, that he made little play of his victories on his restaurant's website. “The starification of our profession has gone too far,” he told Liberation.
Violier had also spoken in previous interviews about the pressure to maintain standards in restaurants.
Just two days after his death his wife found the strenght to re-open the restaurant and the Michelin-starred Switzerland restaurant is up and running again at the urging of Violier's wife.
Two days after his untimely death by apparent suicide, chef Benoît Violier's Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville Crissier reopened, according to Agence France-Presse. Brigitte Violier ran the restaurant with her husband for nearly four years, and it earned the highest possible Michelin star rating.
Mrs. Violier reportedly gathered the restaurant's staff on Monday with a message of “the show must go on,” and invited guests who had made reservations in advance to honor them.