French eatery ONA is the first vegan restaurant in France to win a coveted Michelin star. ONA—which is an acronym for “Origine Non Animale” (“animal-free origin”)—is the first vegan establishment to appear in the Michelin Guide to France since it was created in the year 1900. Michelin stars are a rating system used by the Michelin Guide to grade restaurants on their quality.
A gourmet menu
ONA was founded by Claire Vallée in 2016 in the city of Ares in the southwest area of the country. Vallée was able to open her restaurant thanks to crowdfunding and a loan from an ethically minded bank. ONA offers a gourmet menu of several dishes, some of which involve flavors of pine, boletus mushrooms and sake, or celery, tonka, and amber ale. “More than a restaurant, it’s a way of life. Self-taught chef Claire Vallée, proposes 100-percent vegan, organic gastronomy—hence the name, which stands for ‘non-animal origin’ in French,” the Michelin Guide to France says. “The beautifully dressed plates feature a splendid array of fruit and vegetables. Greatly deserving of the attention it is garnering.”
A green star
In addition to the classic Michelin star award, ONA also won a green star, which Michelin introduced last year to honor establishments with a strong focus on ethical and sustainable practices.