Heralding a new era for vegan fine dining, Michelin judges have for the first time awarded 24 vegan restaurants in a year with the coveted Michelin star, according to an article published on The Beet.
They have also conferred this title on 57 vegetarian restaurants, accommodating a shift in consumer preferences towards more plant-based foods in recent years.
Over the last few years, several fine dining restaurants have altered their menus to either raise the percentage of vegan dishes or have completely switched to vegan menus with an aim to cater to the growing population of customers choosing plants over meat.
Top chefs with Michelin stars to their name are riding the vegan wave too, bringing a noticeable change in the conventional fine dining scene. Some of the renowned restaurants that have gone vegan include, New York’s Eleven Madison Park, Berlin’s Cookies Cream, Beijing’s King’s Joy, and Los Angeles’ Le Comptoir.
Claire Vallee, the owner of ONA in France, became the first chef to bag Michelin star for her vegan restaurant in January this year. The Michelin Guide also awarded ONA a Michelin “Green-Star” for “operating at the forefront of their field with sustainable gastronomy practices.”
The restaurant, which opened to public in 2016, was revolutionary at the time as it brought focus to plant-forward dishes, moving away from France’s meat and dairy-based cooking.
2019 was the first year when Michelin started recognising the popularity of plant-based cuisine. In the same year, it conferred a star to San Francisco-based Atelier Crenn. Owned by French chef Dominique Crenn, the restaurant cut all meat from its menu, barring sustainable and locally sourced seafood. The restaurant is soon going to offer Upside Foods’ cell-based chicken to her customers, making it the first in the US to tread on this path.
With a focus on sustainability and health, the plant-based movement is getting strong. Now, with the number of Michelin star vegan restaurants rising, the movement is going to get a further fillip.