ONA Becomes France’s First All-Vegan Eatery to Be Awarded a Michelin Star
Origine Non-Animale (ONA) has received a prestigious Michelin Star, the first exclusively vegan restaurant in France to be granted the iconic stamp of approval. Founded by the self-taught chef Claire Vallée, ONA serves elevated, vegetable-forward dishes. The Michelin Guide also awarded ONA for its commitment to innovative, plant-based dining with a Michelin “Green-Star,” reserved for restaurants “operating at the forefront of their field with sustainable gastronomy practices."
Chef Claire Vallée Receives a Michelin Star for Vegan Restaurant Origine Non-Animale
Initially, Vallée struggled to secure funding for her restaurant from traditional banks who were skeptical that a fine-dining, plant-based restaurant would succeed in France, a country famous for dairy and meat-centric cuisine. Instead, Vallée acquired the capital she needed to accomplish her mission with crowdfunding and Le Nef, a French bank that supports projects with sustainable missions.
Given the challenges she faced initially, Vallée's success tastes that much sweeter now: In an Instagram post, Vallée thanked her restaurant’s supporters, saying, “It is because you believed in me, in this crazy bet beyond my doubts, my anxieties, my fears, but also thanks to our common work throughout these last four years that today we obtained our first star in the Michelin guide."
The chef continued, "You carried me, you trusted me: Nothing was won–on the contrary, and you knew it! And yet you have never stopped believing in me. I am so proud of us, of our tenacity, our responsiveness, our mutual support. There is so much to say, so many thanks to give, so much emotion, my head is spinning, my fingers are shaking and my heart is beating and ready to break! Words are no longer strong enough to express to you all that I am feeling at this moment. But THANK YOU to you my team, my suppliers, friends, family, clients, advice, loan helpers, crowd funders, and our little [worker] ants."
Although ONA is the first entirely vegan restaurant located in France to receive a star, The Michelin Group has rewarded restaurants that serve plant-based fare stars in other countries, proving that the plant-forward approach is ready for world domination. Earlier this year, the London-based, Michelin-starred restaurant, Hardwood Arms, debuted a scotch “egg” that used THIS plant-based bacon–the first Michelin Star restaurant to offer plant-based imitation meat on its menu. A vegan restaurant winning France’s most coveted ranking suggests that diners everywhere can look forward to the day when plant-based and fine-dining pair together like dairy-free cheese and wine.