NA became the first vegan restaurant in France to win a Michelin star, CNN Travel reported January 19.
Located in the southwestern village of Ares, near Bordeaux, the restaurant also won a green star for its strong ethical practices. Michelin introduced this award in 2020 to acknowledge eateries that follow ethical practices.
Claire Vallee, a self-taught chef and former archaeologist, opened the establishment in 2016 after a group of volunteers helped her when the bank loan wasn’t enough.
“This is a good thing for the vegan community as this star is evidence that French gastronomy is becoming more inclusive. That plant-based dishes belong there too,” CNN reported, citing Vallee.
“The team that I work with are really proud. The Michelin star and the green star serve as recognition. It’s also for them and the local producers and the vegetable farmers we work with.”ONA, which stands for Origine Non Animale or Non-Animal Origin, is one of only 54 eateries to win the distinction in 2021, and it’s known for its yellow zucchini ravioli with black truffle gnocchi and a Swiss chard ballotine with vegetable ricotta.
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