Swiss police say 3-star chef Benoit Violier, whose restaurant near Lausanne recently topped a list of the world's best, has been found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot. He was 44.

Police said in a statement that Violier was found dead in his home late Sunday afternoon in the municipality of Crissier. An investigation has been opened to determine the exact circumstances of the death, police said.

Violier's establishment, the Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville in Crissier, served dishes such as saddle of Pyrenean young lamb and crispy Landes duck foie gras.

Last year it was ranked first on a French government-sponsored list of the world's top 1,000 restaurants.