Howard “Howie” Kleinberg, the Miami restaurateur who competed in Season 3 of Bravo’s Top Chef, died last weekend after suffering a heart attack. He was 46.
“The Top Chef family is saddened to learn about the unexpected passing of Howard Kleinberg from season three,” Bravo said in a statement. “Howie’s passion for cooking filled so many and our deepest sympathy goes out to his family and friends.”
Kleinberg appeared on the 2007 season Top Chef: Miami. He placed seventh in the competition.
A South Florida native, Kleinberg attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, according to the Miami Herald. One of his early jobs was in the kitchen at the Hotel Intercontinental in downtown Miami.
His death was announced by his mother Susan Kleinberg, who told The Miami Herald, “I am just finding out how many lives he touched. He was married to his passion in life, which was his cooking.”
Kleinberg followed his appearance on the reality series by opening his own Miami restaurant, Bulldog Barbecue, and later pursued more fine dining endeavors. He also participated annually in the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
The former Top Chef contestant also supported Taste of the Nation, which raises money to address childhood hunger, and helped raise money for pet shelters. His family asks that donations be made in his memory to the non-profit pet rescue organization Bullies-N-Beyond Rescue or to Feeding South Florida.
The #TopChef family is saddened to learn about the unexpected passing of Howard Kleinberg from season three. Howie’s passion for cooking filled so many and our deepest sympathy goes out to his family and friends. Read more here: https://t.co/W4r1JiTlfZ
— Bravo Top Chef (@BravoTopChef) July 26, 2022
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