my mother on firethe latest project from town chief Beaver Sheppard, brings a whole new dimension to the place that once housed Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie’s beloved Mitch Deli sandwich shop.
Sheppard’s project is billed as a “casse-tête-croute” (a mix of the French words for “puzzle” and “snack bar”) for its mix of dinner classics and experimental twists: poutines, salads, burgers and chicken fried are accompanied by sandwiches ranging from one with pulled pork “Gangnam Style” and another with chicken schnitzel and hunter sauce “Yolanda Nona” demi-glace, which puts a courgette parmigiana between the bread.
That’s just the tip of the spatula, though, as the kitchen will change its menu items on a whim, serve off-menu items and host one-off culinary events – taking a page from the playbook of past work. of Sheppard at restaurants like Bethlehem XXX, where different cuisine is reportedly served every week. “It won’t be as crazy as Bethlehem, but it will be crazy,” Sheppard says, hinting at the possibility of a Twitch stream from the kitchen.
Over time, Sheppard says he plans to wean off the sandwiches and embrace other offerings, like omakase-style serving. “Something where there are 14 dishes and they are all single bites; who knows where it might [go].”
For now, My Mother on Fire is mixing things up with Taco Tuesdays, Wing Wednesdays, and a weekend brunch service that, true to form, keeps things weird. Sheppard serves a dish called “Two-Headed Dog” (named after the song by Roky Erickson), a fried mac and cheese topped with an egg, Hollandaise sauce, and a blueberry pancake with creton mousse . Another dish, his take on Newfoundland fish and brewis, draws inspiration from his past, mixing hard tack (a dense cracker favored for long sea voyages) with salt cod, onions and potatoes. .
“Because it’s fun,” says Sheppard’s partner and co-lead Max Corsillo.
After years of working for other chefs, Corsillo says Ma Mère en Feu represents a return to low-stakes cooking with a sense of play. “We suffered so much abuse working in high-end restaurants. our whole lives for notoriously abusive bosses, and we want to have a safe space,” Corsillo says. “I thought I was done with cooking, I thought I was retired, but it’s just too much fun.”
Taking over the address that once housed Mitch Deli (now mostly located of Beaubien with a satellite kitchen at the craft brewery Messorem Bracitorium), the small restaurant shares its space with the 180g café-record store. Between the picnic tables in the restaurant out front, the tables inside, and the tables in the record store, the restaurant seats 24 people.
My Burning Mother is the latest in a string of Sheppard projects in recent years: last week the chef opened a second fried chicken restaurant Yakyu in Longueuil, after the first in St-Hubert in February 2021. Before that, he launched the poke bowls of okay okay. Sheppard and Corsillo both held positions at high-end Montreal fine-dining establishments like Garde Manger, Au Pied de Cochon, Le Chien Fumant and Globe, now closed.
As for the name of the new project? “I cook like my mom on fire,” Sheppard says.
Ma Mère en Feu is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 5868 Avenue De Lorimier.