Top Chef vet Howard “Howie” Kleinberg, who finished in seventh place in the Bravo competition series’ Miami-set third season, died last week of a heart attack. He was 46.
“The Top Chef family is saddened to learn about the unexpected passing of Howard Kleinberg from Season 3,” Bravo said in a statement posted on Twitter late Tuesday. “Howie’s passion for cooking filled so many and our deepest sympathy goes out to his family and friends.”
Kleinberg made a name for himself on the Miami restaurant scene, opening several eateries, including Bulldog Barbecue, following his Top Chef run.
“I am just finding out how many lives he touched,” Kleinberg’s mother, Susan, told the Miami Herald. “He was married to his passion in life, which was his cooking.”