A Michelin star was awarded a vegan restaurant for the first time in France.
ONA (which stands for Origine Non Animale) is located in the French city of Ares and offers herbal dishes from a seven-course gourmet menu that changes every month.
The restaurant’s owner, Claire Vallée, asked customers to “follow their dreams” after winning the star on Tuesday.
In addition to the long-awaited Michelin star, ONA was also awarded a green star from the Michelin Guide. This award was presented only in December 2020 and is used to attract the attention of restaurants with a perfect sustainability experience.
“I felt like I had been hit by a train,” said the restaurant owner. AFP At that moment, the Michelin Guide called him with the good news.
In an emotional post to the restaurant’s 7,900 fans on Facebook, Vallée thanked his customers for believing him, saying “you took me.”
Vallée launched ONA in 2016 using crowdfunding and a loan from a green bank after many French banks said they did not want to lend to restaurant owners.
“They said the worldview of veganism and plant-based foods is very vague,” he said.
However, he did not regret the decision, adding: “Everyone does their job.”
All restaurants in France are currently closed due to coronavirus restrictions, but ONA’s latest menu offers combinations that include paimpol beans, calamansi and marshmallows, dulse, lemongrass, and galangal.
“We will continue on this path, because this star is mine, yours, one of the impossible ones, the one that leads Plant Gastronomy to the vicious circle of French and World Cuisine,” Vallée wrote on Facebook.