People of Northside | Chef Harvey Germain

Northside happens to be home to a top chef – a master in the arena of culinary arts.

Chef Harvey Germain

Chef Harvey Germain

Northside residents and visitors appreciate, create, and sometimes even live ART. What better way to experience art than to eat it? Northside happens to be home to a top chef – a master in the arena of culinary arts. Chef Harvey Germain, Executive Chef of the Renaissance Hotel downtown, moved to Northside about a year ago and describes the neighborhood as the first place he’s ever felt at home. Northside is much like the food he creates – dynamic, surprising and fun!

Chef says he runs his kitchen like a pirate ship. Follow the flow – or get out of the way. He doesn’t hire cooks, he trains new ones. He is committed to creating the opportunities that he was afforded as a young cook. Chef Harvey specializes in French Contemporary and Modernist Mid-Western Cuisine. He has created thousands of complex and unique dishes. Chef’s braised short rib, just to name one, is so decadent it will make you want to smack your mama.

You might already be familiar with Chef Harvey. Before the Renaissance, Chef worked in various restaurants in the city, most recently as the Executive Chef at Tony’s of Cincinnati in Montgomery. He has been given multiple recognitions and awards. Examples are inclusion in the prestigious Best Chefs America, and Cincinnati Magazine’s Best of the North category. You could have seen him as the food feature on HBO’s Hard Knocks series or performing food demonstrations on the Fox 19 Morning Show. Maybe you’ve sampled his dishes over the past years at events like Taste of Cincinnati, WSO Tennis Tournament, Zoofari, Cincinnati Flower Show, or the Cincinnati Wine Festival.

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Chef Harvey prepares a dish at the Renaissance Hotel.


When talking about his cooking techniques, recipes, and menus, Chef Harvey credits and compliments his impressive list of mentors and affiliations. He started working in restaurants as a teenager and learned little by little, training on one station at a time. Locally, his most notable influence includes Chef Jean Robert de Cavel, Chef David Cook, Chef Joshua Fried, and Chef Jimmy Gibson.


Northsider Chef Harvey with his fiancé Marie Knecht and their 4 children.

Northsider Chef Harvey with his fiancé Marie Knecht and their 4 children.

Soft Side 

So what brought the Chef to Northside? Simply put, love. Chef Harvey met Marie Knecht, Northside resident since 2009, and fell head over heels. He won her heart when she tasted his crab cake; and it didn’t hurt that he had access to unique wines and oils. The couple’s affection for one another is unmistakable. Chef, Marie, their four children, dog, and pet hog reside in the home they’ll be married in this summer. They spend their free time cooking together (she cooks, he does dishes), enjoying their children (managing chaos) and traveling (talking about traveling). They are both very much looking forward to their future together.



For More Info: 
Visit Chef Harvey Germain at the Renaissance Hotel on 4th and Walnut. Open seven days a week.
Stop In: 36 E 4th St, Downtown

By Jeni Jenkins


Jeni Jenkins
About Jeni Jenkins (20 Articles)
Managing Editor/Design/Layout Jeni Jenkins is an artist/graphic designer as well as an educator, writer, director, actor and community advocate. She loves being part of the village of Northside and contributing to its uniqueness. Jeni is an active member of the Northside Community Council and owns and operates Uncaged Bird Print and Design Studio, a Northside graphic design studio.

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