It didn't take long for the two Texans to seek each other out in culinary school in New York back in 2003. Mary Catherine, a native Austinite, was 18 and Andrew (friends call him Drew) Curren, 7 years older, is from Houston. They bonded over a shared passion for honest home cooking. "We talked about what we'd name our restaurant on our first date," says Drew.
After graduation, they moved to New York City and landed jobs in high-end restaurants. But eventually the two began to long for things that don't come easy in New York: a backyard, a grill, and a dog. It was time to come home. They moved to Austin in 2008, just as the city was poised for a culinary renaissance.
Since then, Drew has amassed a mini-empire of thoughtful restaurants, including 24 Diner, Easy Tiger, and Arro. And each Thanksgiving, the Currens have a full table of enthusiastic eaters.