For Mark and Cary Deuber—the latter of whom is currently winding down her starring role in the third season of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Dallas—getting their dream kitchen actually came courtesy of…their closets. “We bought our house about ten years ago,” explains Mark, a board-certified plastic surgeon who, along with Cary, owns and operates the Lemmon Avenue Surgery Center in Dallas, “and one thing that always bugged us was that our 6,000-square-foot-house had a master bedroom closet made for a 2,500-square-foot house.” To remedy the lack of sartorial space, the couple enlisted the home’s original architect, Will Snyder of Boerder-Snyder Architects, to create an addition that was only meant to triple the size of their closet, but ended up inspiring an entire home renovation. “The house was looking a little dated,” Cary says, “and because Mark loves to cook, I told him he should just go ahead and get a chef’s kitchen.”
But calling the Deuber’s eventual $300,000 cookery a “chef’s kitchen” doesn’t quite do it justice. Stepping into the cooking space designed by the German Kitchen Center is more like entering the back of house in a Michelin-starred restaurant. “We love tasting menus and chef's tables," says Cary. "So we wanted our kitchen to feel like that—like you're watching a chef at work." Mark continues: "One of our favorite restaurants is Eleven Madison Park in New York where, in the middle of the kitchen, [there] is a big Molteni stove and around it is the pastry area, the refrigeration area, the spot where you prep and plate. That’s how we laid our kitchen out.” As such, Mark and Cary, with the help of their builders, Susan Newell Custom Homes, shunned the typical triangular kitchen work space in favor of one that flows the way a meal unfolds start to finish: from the Sub-Zero glass-door refrigerator to a six-foot galley that houses two sinks, prep tools, spices, cabinetry for pots and pans, and an Asko dishwasher (strictly for premeal dishes and cookware) to the center French-blue Molteni stove and Gaggenau wall and combi-steam ovens, and, finally, to the eat-in island with a dish-warming drawer for plating. It may sound like a formal setup for the family of three—Cary and Mark have a four-year-old daughter, Zuri—who love to entertain and cook in five nights per week, but “we just wanted a space where we could still interact with our guests or our child while we prepared a meal," says Cary, who has her own baking station where she and Zuri recently prepared Thanksgiving pies. We want it to feel casual, but if you ever take a plate from one area and put it in the dishwasher in the other area, Mark’s going to scream at you. It happens to me all the time me. He’s like, ‘No! That spoon is in the wrong dishwasher.’”
Indeed, Mark, who Cary claims could have been an architect, is a stickler for details and labored over nearly inch of the house during renovations. For instance, when the overhaul was complete he noticed the front entry was an inch-and-a-half off—”I could have lived there for 20 years and never noticed,” Cary says—so he had the entire thing re-centered. Mark put equal care into finding the showpiece of the kitchen, the aforementioned Molteni stove, which, thanks to two ranges, a chromium plancha, and a pass-through oven, can be cooked on at all four corners. Made in France to the exact measurements of the Deuber’s kitchen, the 1,800-pound stove, which required a forklift to get it into the Deuber's home, rang in at $75,000 and is said to be the only Molteni in Texas.
But does that impress the tough-to-please Dallas crowd? “Friends always tease us about the price tag,” says Mark, who was born in Zurich and thus prefers a more European design aesthetic. “But I know plenty of people who spend their money on a McLaren, because they love cars and it fits their lifestyle. This fits ours.” Cary adds (with a laugh): “Think about how much money you spend in a lifetime at nice restaurants? This actually saves us money! In all seriousness, we just love being in our kitchen all the time. And people are excited to not only come and see it but also eat what we make here. They’re always leaving saying, ‘We’ll be back tomorrow!’ It’s the toughest reservation in Dallas.”