The lady at the helm of the piglets
Margaux Aubry Sharratt lived out her dream to own a business before she turned 30 when she opened Naughty Piglets in Brixton with her husband and business partner chef Joseph Sharratt. They now co-own both Naughty Piglets in Brixton and more recently The Other Naughty Piglet in Victoria, following a fortuitous meet with a rather well known theatre veteran. Thanks to the mighty Margaux, natural wine is king and a splendid wine list commands both venues. We chat about how it all came about and what's next on the cards.
Tell us a bit about why you decided to set up your own restaurant?
My ultimate life goal was always to have my own business before I turn 30; I’ve always been very stubborn and determined which helped me a lot! I didn't know at the time it was going to be a restaurant! I always loved food and wine growing up in Lyon, but the passion really started to burn when I arrived in London seven years ago! I then met my husband, who was the Head Chef at Trinity in Clapham and everything became quite obvious, as we were both very keen to open up our very own place.
I have to say that we are very lucky, it’s not every day that a wine geek who eats a lot meets a very talented chef who drinks a lot, but share the same dream and both so eager to make it happen.
Did you ever imagine opening your second venue in central London?
We never thought we would ever go central as we love south London but we were given a great opportunity, I think! Andrew (Lloyd Webber) came for dinner at Naughty Piglets, as his son lives very nearby and he had a great time. He offered us to take over the first floor at The Other Palace Theatre that he had recently purchased. Some compromises were made but we are very happy with the decision of launching The Other Naughty Piglet. Andrew is our landlord and comes very often.
What is the ethos behind the Naughty Piglets and The Other Naughty Piglet menus?
I’d say that the ethos behind our menus is to cook delicious food and use great produce. It’s all down to produce isn’t it? Joe is very creative so all our plates are quite different to others in London, I think!
Was wine always going to be central to your menus?
Of course wine was always going to be a massive part of our menu! We list maybe 300 wines at Naughty, and 160 at The Other! I like to think that people come for the food as much as for the wines! (Not always the case but...!)
Is natural and low-intervention wine the future?
Low intervention wine is the present and definitely the future, in my opinion anyway. I’m currently reading ‘Pur Jus’, by Justine Saint-Lô and Fleur Godart, that tells their journey visiting various vignerons, such as Alain Castex or Cyril Fahl, trying to understand the difference in soils, how minerals, molecules, viruses, roots etc. interact with one another and how all has a place and a role. It sadly shows how much nature would be better off without us, humans, intervening.
What would be on your ultimate wine list?
I’ve been trying to create my ultimate wine list for few years now, and that means listing enough Overnoy you could have a vertical with your friends! And also listing the many vignerons that people don’t obviously know, or rave about. I have a very big addiction to oxidative whites and juicy reds so you’d find a lot of those!
What is currently your favourite wine on the list and why?
I don’t have a favourite, they all excite me, depending on my mood or who I’m with.
Who is or has been an influence on you in the wine world and why?
I’m lucky to work very closely with amazing wine suppliers and have done few wine trips throughout the years and the people I met then are my influence, those vignerons, their work, their passion, they patience, their generosity, how much they fill your soul it’s crazy.
Jacques Maillet, one of my favourite men on earth, is one of many, who inspired me very deeply and who makes you realise everyday why you do what you do! Alongside with Mylene Bru, Luca Faccenda, Olek Bondonio, Thomas and Charlotte Carsin, Massimo and Antonella (Partida Creus) and many others... and working so closely with wine suppliers, who became, for some, very good friends over the years, they are an inspiration every single day!
Where are some of the best places to find great wine?
There are many great places to drink wines in London, not enough diversity though, but it will get there eventually. I love Terroirs, Laughing Heart, The Dairy and many others.
What is next for you and the restaurant?
We have just finished some renovations over the Christmas break at Naughty Piglets, and we created an intimate wine bar in the basement, "the waiting room" where people can enjoy wine or any sort of booze without having to book! So please come and spread the love!
I’m also setting up a small wine company with my very good friend Jade Febvre, that will hopefully be up and running early June. Loads of wine trips planned...
In the meantime, La Dive is round the corner now so see you there!
http://www.naughtypiglets.co.uk/ | http://www.theothernaughtypiglet.co.uk/
Interested in finding out more about any of the Les Caves wines on the lists at Naughty Piglets and The Other Naughty Piglet? Buy online here or contact us directly…
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