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Vegan restaurant becomes first in France to earn a Michelin star

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(CNN) — The Michelin Guide has awarded one among its coveted stars to a French vegan restaurant for the first time.

ONA, which stands for Origine Non Animale or Non-Animal Origin, has been handed the accolade in the most recent version of the long-running culinary information.

The restaurant, in the small southwestern village of Arès, close to Bordeaux, is the first animal-free institution to seem in the Michelin Guide to France because it was created in 1900.

It is amongst 54 eating places to earn their first star in the 2021 replace. Michelin mentioned a “key takeaway from the 2021 selection is the continued spread of diverse styles of cuisine across France.”

“At ONA … vegan cuisine takes center stage for the first time in a restaurant to win a Star in France,” it mentioned.

Opened by self-taught chef and former archaeologist Claire Vallee, ONA boasts a seven-course night menu priced at 59 euros ($72). Its specialties embody a yellow zucchini ravioli with black truffle gnocchi, and a Swiss chard ballotine with vegetable ricotta.

Plant-based options have grown in popularity.

Plant-based choices have grown in reputation.

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Vallee mentioned she was overcome with emotion when the Michelin information’s worldwide director known as her Thursday to inform her ONA had earned the accolade. “Cooking with my team is like performing in a theater. You never really know how it’s being received until the very end,” she advised CNN.

Vallee opened the restaurant in 2016 after crowdfunding funds and securing a mortgage from Nef, an moral financial institution. When the cash ran out to full the works on the institution, Vallee mentioned she rallied 80 volunteers over social media to assist end the job over the course of two months.

“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,” Vallee mentioned.

“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,” she added.

The restaurant operated as takeaway-only throughout the preliminary part of the coronavirus pandemic, and has benefited from state help, Vallee advised CNN.

Vegan-only institutions have grow to be more and more sought-after in latest years, alongside the quickly rising reputation of plant-based diets.

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