A vegan restaurant in France has got a Michelin star. This is the first vegan restaurant in France to make it to the Michelin Guide, which rates restaurants by awarding them stars.
With ONA featuring in the latest edition of the prestigious culinary guide, which started more than a century ago, plant-based food in France has now arrived.
ONA (an acronym for Origine Non Animale which means non-animal origin) is located in a small village of Arès, near Bordeaux.
“Another key takeaway from the 2021 selection is the continued spread of diverse styles of cuisine across France. At ONA, opened by self-taught chef (and former archaeologist!) Claire Vallée in Arès in Arcachon Bay, for example, vegan cuisine takes center stage for the first time in a restaurant to win a Star in France,” Michelin Guide said in a statement.
A seasonal job to earn pocket money became a passion for Claire Vallée who was all set to follow in Indiana Jones’s footsteps after finishing her diploma in archaeology. Instead, she trained and perfected her culinary craft.
Vallée found the magic of plant-based food in Thailand where she spent a year learning Asian cooking.
“I chose to create a cuisine which reflects my character and values, avant-garde in a multitude of aspects. I believe in plants! For me, it is undoubtedly the cuisine of the future because it meets all our needs effectively: ecology, biology, ethics, human and health,” she writes on the restaurant website.
“This is very emotional for me, my team, my suppliers, my family and my friends,” Vallée told RFI. “The little ‘ants’ who helped us with the work, the crowdfunders… It’s a great human adventure.”