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“Top Chef” alum Howard Kleinberg has died, the Bravo show announced on Twitter. He was 46.
“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,” the account wrote on Twitter.
Kleinberg’s mother, Susan, confirmed the chef died over the weekend from a heart attack to the Miami Herald.
“I am just finding out how many lives he touched,” she told the outlet. “He was married to his passion in life, which was his cooking.”
The outlet reported that Kleinberg studied at the culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in North Miami. One of his first cooking gigs was at the Hotel Intercontinental in downtown Miami.
Kleinberg placed seventh during the third season of “Top Chef” in 2007. Following his time on the show, he opened his own restaurant, Bulldog Barbecue, in Miami.
According to his obituary, a funeral was held in his honor on Tuesday in North Miami. His family asked for donations in his honor to be made to pet rescue Bullies-N-Beyond Rescue or Feeding South Florida.
The chef is survived by his mother, father, sister, as well as his dog, Skye.
Kleinberg’s obituary page was filled with kind words from fans.
“I remember and loved Howie Kleinberg on Top Chef. He was passionate about food. R. I. P.” one user wrote.
“I taught Howie in elementary school. Years later, at his restaurant in North Miami, his waitress surprised me by bringing out his gift of milk and cookies. I´ll always think of him fondly,” another user wrote.
“Chef Howie was a fun, kind, big-hearted man. He made me try my first Luther burger and introduced me to the magic of burnt ends. May he Rest In Peace and May his memory be a blessing,” another message read.