“Violier’s death has rattled the world of haute cuisine.
‘Without a doubt, one of the most gifted chefs of his generation left us yesterday,’ Gault & Millau said in a statement.
But the chef’s apparent suicide has also prompted discussion across the Atlantic about what the U.S. culinary industry is doing to assist those struggling with mental health.”—David Mack
Read “A Top Chef’s Suicide Has Prompted A Rethink In Kitchen Culture” on Buzzfeed.
“Suicide has been part of the food industry for a long time. In 1671, Francois Vatel, the maître d’hôtel for the Prince of Condé, was instructed to arrange a meal fit for the Sun King, Louis XIV. The dinner party was for 3,000 people and the prince’s relationship with the king rode on the outcome of the evening. After 12 sleepless days of preparation, Vatel was told that the fish he planned to prepare for the king had not arrived in time. He retreated to his quarters and stabbed himself to death. A few minutes later, the fish delivery arrived.”—Maham Javaid
Read “The restaurant business has a centuries-old suicide problem” on Timeline
“Mr. Violier’s death has underscored a growing concern among some in the restaurant industry that not enough is being done to address mental health issues exacerbated by the seemingly endless pressure to deliver perfection in a physically and creatively demanding profession dominated by lightning-fast criticism and often unrealistic expectations of success.”—Kim Severson
Read “The Death of a Star Swiss Chef Underscores the Profession’s Stress” in the New York Times.
“While the details surrounding Violier’s death have not been confirmed, the case once again brings to light a dark topic within the food community. The long hours and intense pressures of running a kitchen are often detrimental to mental health.”—Tim McKirdy
Read “We Need to Talk About Mental Health in the Kitchen” at Vice Munchies