A vegetarian restaurant in southwest France has won a Michelin star, an establishment serving only animal-free products in France.
Claire Valley runs restaurant ONA – which stands Origin Non Anime – in the city of Ares, near Bordeaux, which it launched in 2016 thanks to crowdfunding of supporters and loans from the Green Bank.
“I felt like I got hit by a train,” Wale told AFP the moment he received a call from guide Michelin and told him of his decision.
In addition to Monday’s award of the Classic Star, Vali also won a green star, which Michelin introduced last year to reward establishments with a strong record for ethical practices.
A Guide Michelin spokesman told AFP that ONA is “the first vegetarian restaurant to win a star”.
Valli offered seven dishes in its gourmet menu before closing ONA due to Kovid-19 restrictions. Her favorite combinations include pine, boletus mushrooms and sake, or celery, tonka, and amber ale.
Traditional French banks gave young chefs a small chance when they came looking for a loan from them. “He said the approach to vegetarian and plant-based diets was very uncertain,” she said. The location chosen for her restaurant in the Arkachon Basin on the Atlantic coast was also not considered promising enough.
Welley said he made no complaints: “Everyone does their job.”
Valli went through Colladfunding, without the need for collateral, and to secure financing through Lee Neff, a bank that specializes in lending projects that it considers ethical. “To show that nothing is impossible,” she said.
Valli admitted that “were we good enough because vegetable-based cooking is difficult and innovative” along the way.
But, he said: “The most important thing is to enjoy doing it.”
Although now considered a pioneer for vegetarian cuisine in France, Vélie said she followed in the footsteps of others, singing to the late Jean-Christian Jury, who runs the Mano Verde restaurant in Berlin.