Victor Whitfield is one brilliant cook. I was invited to dine with some fellow Canadians on a warm Sunday afternoon at Victor’s home in Westchester, New York. Getting out of the city is a real treat, but having someone cook an entire meal from scratch is truly a special moment. Especially when they’ve labored away for days in the kitchen. Victor is a native of Nova Scotia (hence the pie featuring iconic Canadian motifs), a fine woodworker and also the father of my dear friend Hanne. His own father was a chef, which is where his familiarity with kitchens and love for food stems from.

Our meal started off with an assortment of cheeses, but quickly moved to a feast which included grilled eggplant, shrimp and peppers, potato-dill salad, sausages, string beans with pine nuts and an insane portobello mushroom. The interior of the mushroom cap was scraped, puréed, mixed with egg then refilled and grilled to perfection.

The ultimate moment arrived when dessert was served; A Canadian-themed, freshly baked strawberry ruhbarb pie cooked to canuck perfection. I wish there was a way to share the overwhelmingly delirious aromas this pie emitted while baking in the oven. I can still taste my generous slice, slightly tart with a hint of sugar and a wonderful texture complimented with a side of ginger-vanilla ice cream. This food memory will be one to savor. Thanks Victor!