Michelin awards first star to vegan restaurant in France

A French vegan restaurant won a Michelin Guide star, the first for an establishment serving only animal-free products in France.

Claire Vallee launched the ONA restaurant in the city of Ares, near Bordeaux, in 2016 thanks to crowdfunding from supporters and a loan from a green bank.

The moment she received a call from the Michelin Guide informing her of its decision, Vallee said, “It felt like I got hit by a train.”

In addition to the classic star award, Vallee also won a green star, which Michelin introduced only last year to reward establishments with a strong record for ethical practices.

ONA, which stands for “Origine Non Animale,” is “the first vegan restaurant in France to win a star,” a Guide Michelin spokeswoman said.

Vallee offered seven dishes on her gourmet menu before she had to close ONA because of COVID-19 restrictions. Her favorite combinations involve pine, boletus mushroom and sake, or celery, tonka and amber ale.

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