One of the lighter parts of the pandemic has been the rare glimpse into a notable person’s private space. From workshops taught out of an artist’s at-home studio to Instagram Lives featuring a celebrity’s backyard — sometimes the best part of a live stream is taking in the backdrop.
Though the novelty of the spontaneous Instagram Live seems to have worn off a bit since the early days of sheltering in place, those notable people are still mostly working from home. Even chefs, who — like all of us — are probably using their own kitchens more than ever before. And if you happen to be Dean Fearing, it’s a pretty solid setup. The Dallas chef hasn’t been hosting virtual cooking classes (his namesake restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton is currently open at 50 percent), but he’s still letting us take a furtive glimpse inside.
The recently remodeled space centers one massive slab of pure white marble (much wider than the kitchen’s original) from The Stone Boutique, based in the Dallas Design District. Founded by Spanish stone business veterans Francisco and Margarita Acosta, The Stone Boutique incorporates technology (think digital room renderings and virtual warehouse shopping) to create a more streamlined, luxurious way for designers and homeowners to outfit their spaces.
“Going through the stones with Francisco and Margarita was an experience in itself,” says Fearing, who has known the couple for years. “They opened a bottle of wine, had some snacks to eat, and we literally spent hours one Friday afternoon looking for the right stone for our kitchen. It was quite amazing — we really had a great time.”
So solid are the Acostas’ stone bona fides that Fearing (who surely knows his way around a kitchen) let them execute the space the way they wanted to — despite the fact that their vision initially clashed with his.
“I told Francisco I wanted a big, thick piece of marble. And he said, ‘Dean, no. We don’t do thick anymore. You want it more modern.’ So my wife and I trusted him, but we were really apprehensive,” Fearing recalls. “We walked in when the project was finished and were like, oh yeah, that’s the look. I’m so glad we didn’t listen to ourselves.”
Even with a more modern piece of marble, the white, clean-lined kitchen has been reigning supreme for some time, though Francisco has noted an uptick in clients looking for grey or green-colored stone. Given the amount of time he and his family have been spending at home, Fearing is grateful for his refreshed space.
“I’ve truly cooked almost every meal at the house for the last three months, though we have started ordering in more. We had a blast doing it, though I did get a little tired of cooking every night, I’ll tell you that,” he says. “But the slab is absolutely beautiful. You sit down and look across that stone and it’s just absolutely gorgeous.”