A vegan restaurant in south-west France has won a Michelin star, the first for an establishment serving only animal-free products in the country.
Claire Vallee runs the restaurant ONA - which stands for Origine Non Animale - in the city of Ares, near Bordeaux, which she launched in 2016 thanks to crowdfunding from supporters and a loan from a green bank.
“It felt like I got hit by a train,” Vallee told AFP about the moment she received a call from the Guide Michelin informing her of its decision. In addition to Monday’s award of the classic star, Vallee also won a green star, which Michelin introduced last year to reward establishments with a strong record for ethical practices.
ONA is “the first vegan restaurant in France to win a star”, a Guide Michelin spokeswoman told AFP.
Although now considered a pioneer for vegan cuisine in France, Vallee said she simply followed in the footsteps of others, singling out the late Jean-Christian Jury, who ran the Mano Verde restaurant in Berlin.
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