Howard Kleinberg, the winner of Season 3 of Top Chef, passed away on Tuesday, July 26. Bravo announced the 46-year-old’s deaths on their social media account, writing:
“The #TopChef family is heartbroken to hear about the untimely death of Howard Kleinberg from season three.” Howie’s love of cooking has touched many people and our hearts go out to his family and friends.”
Kleiberg finished eighth in season three of the famous program and built his own restaurant in Miami. His father, mother, sister and Skye, his rescue dog, survive him.
How did Howard Kleinberg die? The cause of death
According to Susan Kleinberg of the Miami Herald, Howard died of a heart attack. She also stated:
“I’m only now learning how many lives he has affected.” He was married to the love of his life, cooking.”
It is unclear if he has had any past health problems and his family members have not yet shared any details. Kleinberg’s funeral is scheduled for Tuesday and donations can be sent to Feeding South Florida or the animal charity Bullies-N-Beyond Rescue.
Who was Howard Kleinberg?
According to the Miami Herald, Howard Kleinberg enrolled in culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in North Miami. He began his culinary career in the kitchen of the Hotel Intercontinental in downtown Miami. Kleinberg rose to prominence after finishing seventh in Top Chef Season 3. Bulldog Barbecue, his second restaurant, debuted in Miami. According to Howard’s obituary, his enthusiasm for barbecue came from the summers he spent in North Carolina. This year he also became executive chef at Peacock Garden Resto Bar + Grill. Every year he was an avid participant in the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
In addition to being an excellent cook, he was also interested in raising donations for starving children and animal shelters. While paying respect to Kleinberg, a user revealed that he taught Kleinberg in grade school and that a waitress at Kleinberg’s restaurant in Miami had greeted him with milk and cookies—a gift from Howard. Another user said Howard initially exposed him to the “magic of burnt ends” when he forced him to taste a Luther burger for the first time.
In summary, Top Chef Season 3
Top Chef Season 3 debuted on June 13, 2007, under the title Top Chef: Miami, and ended on October 10, 2007. Hung Huynh took first place, followed by Dale Levitski and Casey Thompson. Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Ted Allen were among the judges. Kleiberg finished sixth on the program and was nicknamed “Bulldog” while there. This term was eventually used to name his barbecue business.
Twitter users pay tribute
Howard Kleinberg had built quite a reputation as a renowned chef. As word of his death spread, Twitter was inundated with tribute:
BREAKING REPORT: Bravo’s ‘Top Chef’ alum Howard Kleinberg UNEXPECTED DIES OF A HEART ATTACK at age 46.
WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE DIE YOUNG?
— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) July 27, 2022
…and another. ‘Unexpectedly’ died of a heart attack at the age of 46. While incidents like this aren’t completely unheard of, there seem to be a lot of them lately.
@drnaomirwolf https://t.co/1bDf3xiiKE https://t.co/IXesoYHlVt
— GigiRNC (@GigiRNC) July 27, 2022