The inaugural harvest celebration at Yountville's Ad Hoc restaurant was a huge success on many levels.
"It's a lot of fun," said Ad Hoc general manager Josh Blackman. "It's Oktoberfest to celebrate the harvest -- which is what Oktoberfest is anyway."
About 400 people attended the three-hour event, held in Addendum, the back garden area outside of Ad Hoc.
Ad Hoc Chef Katie Hagen-Whelchel said she came up with the idea for the harvest celebration while thinking of her childhood in Louisville, Kentucky.
Chef Thomas Keller, who owns Ad Hoc and several other restaurants in Yountville, had told her that creating such events is about evoking memories, she said.
"When I was growing up, there was always a fall festival with face-painting and cotton candy," Hagen-Whelchel said. "I saw this garden in the back and I thought, 'What we can do here is turn it into a German beer garden.'"
Behind Ad Hoc, the main restaurant on Washington Street, is Addendum, a vegetable garden and outside area that also includes a cooking shack where people may purchase the restaurant's famed fried chicken to go.
"The only reason to come here is the fried chicken," said Jim, a South Bay resident who drove to Yountville for HOC-toberfest with partner Taka.
The couple, who asked that their last names not be used, said they would be driving back the same day.
"The fried chicken is the best," Taka said. "We're waiting for it."
Keller, who heads Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in Yountville, said he was pleased at how HOC-toberfest had come together.
"I'm so proud of my chefs," he said, nodding toward Hagen-Whelchel. "I'm proud of what they do -- the conception, the execution, all of it."