Pigging Out at Ad Hoc

Ad Hoc's mascot. (Photo courtesy of Ad Hoc)

Satisfy your porky appetite at Ad Hoc in Yountville on March 25, when the restaurant will be featuring whole roasted pigs cooked in a caja china.

Sealed inside a big roasting box, each young pig is cooked for hours underneath a big layer coals. The result is fork-tender flesh and skin so crisp it shatters.

The three-course “Wine & Swine” meal, served family-style, includes greens from the French Laundry’s garden, and dessert by French Laundry Pastry Chef Claire Clark. The price of the dinner is $65, including wines. For reservations, call (707) 944-2487.

Ad Hoc’s sister restaurant, Bouchon Bistro, will feature a special menu, March 24-31, that salutes Brittany. Dishes include: buckwheat crepe filled with housemade andouille, mushrooms, spinach, and creme fraiche; poached sole with parsley mousse, Bouchot mussels, and mussel cream; and Gateau Breton with toasted almond ice cream.

The dishes are available a la carte or as a $55 prix fixe option. The Brittany celebration is part of a series of special menus the restaurant is doing to showcase France’s diverse regions. More will come as the year progresses.

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  • The meal I had at Ad Hoc last month was such a memorable one, that I was planning a trip back right after. Just reading this post is making me crave Ad Hoc again!

  • I’ve notice this style of pig roasting is pretty popular.
    I’ve heard Puerto Ricians and Cubans have adopted this method as well from of the Chinese immigrants
    Can’t blame them since it produces a succulent tender taste and a crispy crunch with each bite.
    Thanks for sharing Carolyn!
    And I see your site is up and running much faster now =)

  • I haven’t been to Ad Hoc yet, this looks like a good excuse to go!

  • You are correct, Nick. The box is a traditional method used in Puerto Rico and Cuba.

    I’ve experienced pork cooked like this once — at the now-shuttered Norman’s in Los Angeles. The pork was meltingly tender and the skin was out of this world.

    And yes, thank you all for your patience last week. Major server problems caused FoodGal access to be quite sporadic. Fortunately, everything seems to be back to normal now. (Knock on wood!)

  • Actually, I think the coals are put on the top of the caja china box, not underneath.


    Wish I had one of those boxes…

  • Nate: You obviously know your whole-animal cooking contraptions better than yours truly. You are correct. The post has been changed to reflect that.

    Hey, you have a good-size backyard. I think you should get one of those boxes to try out. The whole neighborhood will smell the amazing aroma and be on your front stoop eager for a taste. I will be at the head of the line, of course. 😉

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