This year, the gourmet judges at Michelin have awarded 57 vegetarian and 24 vegan restaurants globally with their highly coveted stars. 2021 is the first year an ONA for Origine Non-Animale (animal-free origin), a vegan restaurant in France run by chef Claire Vallée was awarded a Michelin star. Based in Arès, near Bordeaux, Vallée is a former archaeologist and self-taught chef who decided to go vegan after a trip to Asia. She crowdfunded and started her restaurant in 2016 because mainstream banks told her that the future for veganism and plant-based food was ‘too uncertain.’
Michelin first granted a star to a meat-free restaurant in 2019 to a celebrated French chef, Dominique Crenn. Atelier Crenn, her three-star restaurant in San Francisco, has three Michelin stars. That year, she announced that all of her restaurants would officially commit to being meat-free but would serve sustainable seafood. Her reasoning for the shift was to help the environment.
“Meat is insanely complicated — both within the food system and the environment as a whole. Local and sustainable fish and vegetables are just as, if not more, versatile — and delicious,” Dominique Crenn said in a statement.