Local chef who spent 7 months in the hospital now back in the kitchen

Marcus Hartford is the Executive Chef at Harbor Town Tavern after recovering from severe COVID complications
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 11:47 PM EDT
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PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WTVG) - At Harbor Town Tavern in Perrysburg, there’s a new Executive Chef calling the plays.

“Everything is house made. We’ve been locally sourcing a lot of our produce and micro greens,” says Executive Chef Marcus Hartford. “It’s just really fun. Really cool. Like, this week’s special we just started today is Duck A L’orange. "

Hartford, 26, is once again in his element after doctors gave him little chance of survival. In April 2021, before he was eligible for a vaccine, Hartford caught COVID. He was placed in an induced coma, spent 140 days on a ventilator, and underwent five lung surgeries.

Seven months later, in November 2021, Marcus Hartford returned home to Toledo. In March of 2022, he started doing prep work in the kitchen at Bar 145.

“You know, at first there, I was just doing prep, and I was doing mornings, and I would come in alone. I’d kind of even just sit down in a bar stool at a prep table and just prep. I started getting the motions back and getting my knife cuts back,” describes Hartford.

After building up his strength and endurance, he was hired in as Executive Chef at Harbor Town Tavern, part of Benchmark Restaurant Group, in August 2022.

“Yeah, it feels great to be having a routine back and just having normalcy and, you know, just doing the things you love and not being held up for any reason, you know. And there is some things that I do live with still. I do only have one lung. So, some days are worse than others,” says Executive Chef Hartford.

His surgeon called him a miracle for simply surviving. Now, he’s back to doing what he loves.

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