Exciting new dish on the 2014 Whole Hog menu:

Blutnudeln: Trentino blood pasta with pan-fried brains, Black Trumpet mushrooms, and nutmeg crema

Chef Rhodehamel is still tinkering with the recipe, he originally used 00 flour but is planning to also try using rye flour. FYI for Whole Hog diners: there will only be a limited amount of brains, so if that’s your thing, you’ll want to come earlier in the week.

2017-09-12T15:47:27-07:00January 27th, 2014|2014, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Whole Hog 2014: afoot and afield

Oliveto Chef de Cuisine Luciano Duco with Giorgio Sacchini, Tuscany 2014

Oliveto Chef de Cuisine Luciano Duco with Giorgio Sacchini, Tuscany 2014

While Chef Rhodehamel is busy in the Oliveto kitchen with this year’s Whole Hog preparations, Chef de cuisine Luciano Duco is currently on a reconnaissance mission in Tuscany hunting wild boar and making salume with our friend and truffle hunter, Giorgio Sacchini.

This from his latest email:

I’ve been Giorgio’s #2 in the kitchen for the hunting club he is part of and I think I will be tomorrow also. I’ve been standing in the cold waiting for the cinghiale for the past two days with no luck but the squadra had a final count of 17.

Luciano has been honing his salume knowledge for some time now, as anyone who has sampled his salume plate (pictured below) can attest to, so we expect him to return brimming with new ideas and ready to jump in to Whole Hog action.


2014 Whole Hog Dinners
February 4 – February 7

2017-09-12T15:47:27-07:00January 21st, 2014|2014, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

How many pigs equal a “Whole Hog?”

February 4 – February 7

Although we’ve been offering our annual Whole Hog dinner for 14 years now, the term itself is somewhat disingenuous. To create a menu with dishes that feature every part of the pig while at the same time having enough portions of the popular dishes (costoletta, ribs), in truth require 2-3 whole animals along with additional boxes of ears, feet, heads, porterhouses, etc.

Whole Hog-plus-Boxes-of-Other-Parts Dinners just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it though, does it?

So in the spirit of authenticity and taking Dario Cecchini’s wise words to heart, this year’s Whole Hog dinner menu will actually be comprised of whole hogs! How many? Chef Jonah is in the process of figuring that out. This weekend he will be breaking down a whole animal from Devil’s Gulch to determine just how many whole hogs it will take to serve four nights of a completely pig-centric menu. (We’ll report back next week with what we discover.)  Not only does this raise the personal bar but it is precisely this type of constraint and utility that creates great food, so we anticipate a number of unsuspected innovations.

What does this mean for you?

This means we won’t be getting boxes of ears. So if you’re one of these people that wildly anticipates their own plate of pickled ears, because there will only be limited amount we’ll have to wait and  see how Chef Rhodehamel chooses to use them. Rest assured there will be ears, just maybe not a whole plate of them.

At the same time, there are only so many portions of crowd-pleaser center-cuts per pig. We suspect Chef Rhodehamel will order enough animals to not leave anyone wanting & then figure out some ingenious way to handle the surplus. We’re guessing there will be some serious preserving going on. Think terrines. Think salumi.

This also means there’s going to pork loin on the menu next week! Huzzah!

2017-09-12T15:47:28-07:00January 17th, 2014|2014, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Menu for 2013 Whole Hog Dinners at Oliveto


Tuesday, February 19th – Saturday, February 23rd

call 510-547-5356 or reserve online

The 2013 Whole Hog menu will be à la carte and priced similar to our regular dinner menu

Key: (CA)- cold antipasto, (WA)- warm antipasto, (P)- Primi, (S)- Secondi

Coppa di testa with green garlic and hazelnut pesto (CA)
Antipasto of tongue, ears, and jowls with red onion, mint, and pickled Cayenne (CA)
Minestra of pork with hominy, cabbage, radishes, and oregano (WA)

Boston butt
Charcoal-grilled Calabrian-style sausage with farro, arugula, and salmoriglio (WA)
Sagna chine (P)

Cappelletti of savoy cabbage and chestnuts with milk-braised pork (P)
Country-style terrina with whole-grain mustard and grilled crostino (CA)
Stinging nettle pappardelle with pork ragù (P)

Carpaccio of pork tenderloin with salsa verde and frisée (CA)
Charcoal-grilled pork porterhouse with creamed spinach, fingerling potatoes, and pork sugo (S)
Spit-roasted porchetta with radicchio, hazelnuts, and aceto balsamico (S)

Lobster boudin blanc with parsnip purée, fried shallots, and fines herbes (WA)
Crispy braised pork belly with celeriac, apple, and frisée (WA)
Pancetta-wrapped sardines with fregola all’ arrabbiata (WA)
Bigoli with pancetta, Cannellini beans, tomato, and Parmesan cheese (P)

Spit-roasted pork leg with molasses-braised beans, kale, and pork brodo (S)
Affetati misti: assortment of house-made salumi TBD (CA)
Warm terrina of trotters and tongue with soffrito, dandelion greens, and sherry vinaigrette (WA)
Zampone with Puy lentils (S)

Mixed cuts
Boudin noir with apple, savoy cabbage and mustard vinaigrette (S)
Crostino of ‘nduja (CA)
Cassoula of braised pork skin and cannellini beans with tomato and parmesan cheese (WA)
Charcoal-grilled pork heart with horseradish, spring onion and arugula(WA)
Anelletti with pork brodo, spigariello and parmesan (P)
Salad of pork kidneys with Castelvetrano olives, fennel and orange (CA)
Potato gnocchi with cicioli di Mangalitsa (P)
Agnolotti dal plin with Fonduta val d’Aosta (P)
Charcoal-grilled pork liver with long cooked red onions, balsamic and rosemary (HA)

Farm (non-pork items)
Garden lettuces vinaigrette (CA)
Involtino of winter vegetables with broccoli di ciccio and parmesan fonduta (S)

Blood orange sorbetto with prosecco
Meyer lemon ice cream-larded gingerbread cialdone sandwiches
Strutto-basted winter strudel of apples and brandied fruits with vin santo ice cream
Wekiwa tangerine with muscato spumante and krumiri cookies
Cherry amaretto ricotta tart
Bittersweet chocolate cake


2017-09-12T15:47:49-07:00February 12th, 2013|2013, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Jonah and the Whale…of a pig


A few weeks ago the Oliveto kitchen received delivery of a five-hundred pound pig from Devil’s Gulch Ranch in Marin. Chef Jonah and crew went to work on it immediately in preparation for Oliveto’s 14th annual Whole Hog Dinners coming up in February. This pig, one among many (for the 5 nights of dinners we’ll use over 2,000 lbs. of pork from eight whole animals), was broken down and processed for a wide range of cured meat to be served at the dinners including: lonza, lardo, guanciale, cured bottom round, ‘nduja, as well as a forty pound prosciutto that will be aged for three years. The prosciutto that will be on this year’s menu was made in 2011 and has been hanging for the last 24 months.

We will continue to update you here with each new delivery as the menu begins to take shape.

Call 510-547-5356 or reserve online

2017-09-12T15:47:50-07:00January 29th, 2013|2013, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Whole Hog Dinners, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, through Friday, February 10


Our thirteenth annual Whole Hog event will soon be here. Over the past twelve years Oliveto’s Whole Hog dinners have become a spectacular array of pork preparations, a delicious extravaganza, but also somewhat excessive, and in recent years much copied and well…very 2007. So Chef Jonah’s decision to narrow the focus and return to a simpler event for this year’s dinners is particularly satisfying to us.

This year we return to the essential idea of the Whole Hog dinners, honoring the old tradition of many farm families in Italy who spent the year fattening a hog in preparation for the winter visit from the traveling butcher, (or norcino) who would slaughter the pig and break it down for all the preparations the family traditionally made to last them throughout the year.

The menu will include many of these simple, rustic preparations of the farmhouse: sausages, chops, roasts, pickles, terrines, prosciutto, ragùs, and so on. (Offerings of offal, and that ultra-western-Italian dish we can’t deprive aficionados of, choucroute garni, will comprise some of the fare in the Cafe downstairs during the event.)

There will still be plenty of extraordinary dishes, with the core of the menu coming from the humble farmhouse and these deeply satisfying and time-honored preparations. We will plan on posting the menu next week but we wanted to alert you to the coming dinners. For the reservations times you want, please reserve online or by phone: 510-547-5356

2017-09-12T15:48:11-07:00January 23rd, 2012|2012, Events|0 Comments

Prosciutti Tasting Goes Exotic

Oliviero Colmignoli (Olli)–the prosciutto-maker with Ossabaw procuitto at the SF Fancy Food Show

Oliviero Colmignoli (Olli) the prosciutto-maker with Ossabaw prosciutto at the SF Fancy Food Show

[see the 2011 Whole Hog menu]

The Duroc is a good pig. Back in the day, people were really happy with a nice Duroc. We still like Paul Willis’s hogs, a mixed breed known as Farmers’ Hybrid. This is a combination of older breeds, having good mothering skills, higher backfat than conventional pigs and a sturdy constitution for outdoor living.

In recent years there has been increasing interest to find the “next big thing” in regards to pig breeds. This has led to tracking down small ranchers working with lesser know breeds, as well as a restored interest and a deeper understanding of breed traits and quality.

You can really taste good pork in cured meats, particularly prosciutto. And some of the breeds now finding attention can be truly delicious. So, for the 2011 Whole Hog Dinners, we’ll be offering tastings of some of these newly re-discovered breeds.

The Ossabaw variety is directly descended from pigs brought by Spanish explorers in the 1500s. A herd of them has lived wild on the island of Ossabaw, off the coast of Georgia, isolated from other varieties of pig, its gene pool intact. It is similar in flavor and cooking characteristics to the Senese pig of Tuscany — lean, slow-growing, with fat that melts at low temperatures. We met Oliviero Colmignoli (Olli), the prosciutto-maker who uses this amazing animal at the Fancy Food show in San Francisco last month. He promised us a prosciutto for this year’s hog dinners, even though it won’t be available in stores or online for a few months. It was the talk of the show, and is extraordinary.

The Olli Salumeria in Virginia, which has created this magnificent prociutto from an Ossabaw hog, also has access to the Mangolitsa hog, a Hungarian variety that was near extinction until recently. It has an unusually high percentage of fat with great flavor, thus making superlative lardo and guanciale. We’ll offer both.

And, not to be out done, Herb Eckhouse is providing us a special “green label” prociutto from La Cuercia his company in Iowa. This organic prosciutto is from an acorn-fed, Jude Becker raised Berkshire hog and has been aged 20 months. Jeffrey Steingarten calls it “the best prosciutto imported or domestic you can get.”

We regret going fashionable on you, but these pigs are really good.

2017-09-12T15:48:26-07:00March 3rd, 2011|2011, Events, Happened already..., Willis Farm|0 Comments

Whole Hog 2011 Update

Magruder's Wild European Boar

Magruder’s Wild European Boar

New to this year’s Whole Hog Dinners, we’ll be wood fire roasting a different whole hog from one of our ranchers each night. Saturday, March 12th, will be Mac Magruder’s half Wild European, half Berkshire heritage breed. Chef Jonah got pretty excited when he first started working with Mac’s hogs a couple of weeks ago. The meat is very clean and sweet– with a nice balance of meat to fat, and the fat seems to melt at a lower temperature, which is not so good for salumi because the fat easily smears, but it is great for lardo, lonza and pancetta.

2017-09-12T15:48:28-07:00February 18th, 2011|2011, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Menu for Whole Hog Dinners 2010

“The Granddaddy of Pig Feasts”


Whole Cuts

Wild boar prosciutto, lonza, spallacia, and lardo
platter for two

Sweet Meats

Pȃté capriccioso, pork liver/sour cherry pȃté, cicciolata, coppa di testa, mortadella, and salame cotto
platter for two

Dry-Cured Salumi

Soppressata, felino, Basque, finocchiona, Genoa, nostrano, piccante, and salametto
platter for two

Offal and End Cuts

Fried pork trotter with ancient Roman oenogarum

Terrina of pork ears with horseradish, celery heart, and frisée

Warm antipasto of pork tongue, artichokes, and black truffles

Sardinian pork tripe braised with saffron and mint; aged provolone and Red Flint corn polenta

Spiedino of pork liver, Meyer lemon, crostini, and pancetta with garlic-hazelnut butter

Pork kidneys sauté trifolati

Bruschetta of pork belly rillettes and Firebrand rye bread with avocado and pickled carrots

Blood pudding with Guru Ram Das Farm dried pear and plum mostarda and walnuts

Sobressada and sbriciolona: traditional Catalonian spreadable spicy salame and Tuscan wild fennel salsiccia cruda with lard piadina and wild arugula

Boudin blanc “Wellington” with Barhi dates and cress

Carpaccio of salted pork loin with roasted beets, Gaeta olives, capers


Soup: passatelli with rich pork broth and pea greens

Wild nettle lasagne alla bolognese

Canederli: Friulian bread and pork dumplings with pork and date sugo

Butternut squash gnocchi with spiced pork ragù and aged aceto balsamico

Pegai: Modenese hazelnut ravioli with wild boar spezzatino

Spaghetti with pork coppa confit, Calabrian hot peppers, breadcrumbs, and oregano

Cannelloni of pork, Chanterelle mushrooms, green garlic, and Fontina Val d’ Aosta cheese

Ravioli cerchie of Savoy cabbage and prosciutto cotto with sugo di maiale, and lardo

Riso with Piedmontese sweet sausage and rum ragù

Pappardelle nere with pork heart and wild mushroom ragù


Tofeja del Canavese: Piedmontese peasant braise of pork shoulder, little cotechino sausages, wild boar spare ribs, and pork skin rollatini with Borlotti beans

Spit-roasted acorn-fed porchetta with Sicilian nero d’avola gelatina, chestnut honey, Castelvetrano olives, and almonds

Smoked ham with kumquat-clove gravy

Wild boar scaloppine alla Count Pavel Stroganov with Chanterelle mushrooms, caramelized onions, sour cream, and riso nero

Zampone braised in saba with lentil crema

Choucroute garni with spit-roasted pork “pastrami,” belly rib, and grilled classic frankfurter

Charcoal-grilled wild boar bacon chops with blood oranges and shaved vegetable salad


Roasted beets and blood oranges

Fresh-milled Red Flint corn polenta

Potatoes fried in pork renderings

Shaved fennel and puntarella

Chicories with aceto balsamico

Shaved Brussels sprouts

Garden lettuces vinaigrette


Bergamot-Prosecco sorbetto

Valhrona chocolate-caramel tart with candy- coated pancetta and vanilla sea salt

Larded puff pastry cornucopia filled with Seville orange ice cream and kumquat-pomegranate compote

Candy Cap mushroom flan with Derrie date confetti and bacon-covered chocolate honeycomb candy

Warm beignets fried in lard with California bay laurel crême anglaise

Tete’s polvorone cookies


With special thanks to Paul Willis and the farmers of Niman Ranch; Magruder Ranch; Devil’s Gulch Ranch; Jude Becker; and Heritage Foods USA

2017-09-12T15:48:49-07:00February 4th, 2010|2010, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments