Around the world, plant-based foods and diets are being recognised now more than ever — especially in the last few years, when the focus has shifted towards a more healthy lifestyle and food choice. A vegan restaurant in France has recently won a Michelin star for serving only animal-free products, The Guardian reports.
According to the outlet, it is the first time that Michelin star has been awarded to such an establishment in France. The restaurant — ONA (Origine Non Animale) — is being run by one Claire Vallee in the city of Ares, near Bordeaux. It was launched in 2016 by means of crowdfunding from supporters and a loan from a green bank.
Vallee was quoted as telling AFP that she received a call from the Guide Michelin informing her of its decision. “It felt like I got hit by a train.” A spokesperson for Guide Michelin told the agency that ONA is “the first vegan restaurant in France to win a star”.
Per The Guardian report, in addition to the classic star, Vallee’s restaurant also won a green star, which was introduced by Michelin last year, so as to reward establishments with a “strong record for ethical practices”.
The restaurant offered seven dishes on its gourmet menu before it had to close because of Covid-19 restrictions in the country. Vallee’s personal favourite combinations include pine, boletus mushroom and sake, or celery, tonka, and amber ale.
But, the journey was not easy. When Vallee had approached traditional French banks for loan, she was told: “the outlook for veganism and plant-based food was too uncertain”. Looking back, she holds no grudges for she feels “everybody does their job”.