LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – The Guillon d’Or prize is a coveted distinction given to a person or institution who has added to Switzerland’s reputation in the world.
It was given Monday evening to the restaurant made famous by one of its chefs, Fredy Giradet, the Hôtel de Ville in Crissier. The three chefs who have, for close to 50 years, kept it among the world’s best restaurants took part in the awards ceremony at the Lausanne Palace: Philippe Rochat, Fredy Girardet, and the current chef, Benoît Violier
Two Vaud groups who focus on excellence in winemaking give the Guillon d’Or, the Confrerie du Guillon and the Clos, Domaines & Châteaux group that brings together Vaud’s chateaus that have wineries.
Girardet, who was named a “chef of the century” in 1989, along with Paul bocuse and Joel Robuchon from France, said Monday that the restaurant, with its three stars, three generations and three chefs merited the award. Hhe nodded to his two successors, saying that it takes courage and talent to take over a three-star restaurant.
The restaurant, a simple village restaurant typical of those operated in many Swiss communes, was taken over at the start of the 1950s by Benjamin Girardet, Fredy’s father. Fredy took over the business in 1965 when his father died, and he added fine cuisine to the menu. His reputation grew quickly and he was awarded 19.5 points by Gault & Millau and three stars by Michelin.
Philippe Rochat succeeded Girardet in 1996 and the youngest of the three, Violier, took over in April 2012.