In January of this year, a Michelin star was awarded to a fully vegan restaurant for the first time in fine-dining history. The restaurant, called ONA, is run by Claire Vallee, who opened her doors in 2016. We wrote about Vallee’s impressive rise to the top despite being denied bank loans due to the uncertainty of demand for plant-based cuisine.
Now, as the demand for vegan and vegetarian food is growing, Vallee is not the only vegan chef impressing Michelin judges. Michelin has since awarded 57 vegetarian restaurants and 24 vegan restaurants their prestigious stars, with more to come.
The list of recipients includes vegan restaurants Joia in Milan and King’s Joy in Beijing, and vegetarian restaurants Cookies Cream in Berlin, Eleven Madison Park in New York, and Le Comptoir in Los Angeles. While vegetarian and vegan options were scarce just a decade ago, the options are now plentiful and ever-growing.
Switching to a plant-based diet is one of the most impactful ways that we can mitigate the negative effects of human-induced climate change. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Project Drawdown say that 43 to 68 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions would be saved if 50 to 75 percent of the world’s population committed to restricting their diet to a healthy average of 2,250 calories per day and ate less meat overall. There are also plenty of health benefits to be gained by consuming fewer calories and less fat, which makes giving up meat an even more sensible decision.