Chef Brian Ventura created this recipe in 2015 when he was executive chef at the Growlers Arms, a fun but short-lived Irish gastropub–style eatery in Oakland. His inspiration for this recipe came a year earlier while he was touring the Irish countryside: “I could see the farmer making his cheese and fresh buttermilk and growing the herbs and tomatoes in his garden. At least that’s what I would do if ever I’m blessed enough to have a real farm.”
Chef Brian’s habit at the time was to shop for fresh produce at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market, where he especially enjoyed choosing fresh herbs from White Crane Springs Ranch, a former vendor at the market. Various market farmers may be selling fresh anise hyssop, but since lovage might be harder to find, we asked Chef Brian what to substitute, and he said to use the inner leaves from a head of celery.