I really want to go to a party at Tracey Overbeck and Ethan Stead’s house. Aside from being smart, stylish and incredibly creative, this couple approaches entertaining with such an attitude of joie de vivre that the guests at their legendary dinner parties couldn’t help but have the time of their lives. As you enter the gorgeous grounds that house their historic home, abundant with live oaks and pomegranate trees and surrounded by a tall stucco wall, it’s easy to forget that you’re minutes from downtown Austin. Since Tracey owns the eponymous acclaimed interior design firm, I knew that the Stead’s home would be cool – but I wasn’t prepared for the jaw-dropping details and individuality oozing from every corner. Since they spend half the year at their homes on Martha’s Vineyard, the east coast and ocean play prominently into their entertaining style. On this particular day, Tracey and Ethan were prepping for an oyster party they were hosting for friends that evening. Take a step inside their home and click through the images shot by Chelsea Fullerton to see the perfect table setting, what they poured and how they prepped for an unforgettable oysters-in-Austin party.
Ethan’s Guide to Shucking an Oyster:
- Wear metal oyster-shucking gloves for the task — the edges are sharp and can be dangerous if you’re not super careful.
- Insert your oyster knife at the hinge, angling the blade down, then carefully wedge the the shells apart to avoid breaking the back of the shell.
- Slide the knife under the adductor muscle to loosen the meat, then settle the bottom of each shell into a bed of ice or on an oyster plate and serve immediately.
- Think of oyster shucking like breaking open a pistachio — some are easy to break, while you have to battle with others.