Howie Kleinberg was a former “Top Chef” contestant and Miami, Florida, chef and restaurant owner, who has died at the age of 46.
What was his cause of death? How did Kleinberg die? His cause of death was a heart attack, according to The Miami Herald.
The Miami Herald confirmed Kleinberg’s death with his mother. He was also known as Howard Kleinberg.
Here’s what you need to know:
Kleinberg ‘Was Married to His Passion in Life,” Cooking, His Mother Said
The Herald reported on July 28, 2022, that Kleinberg had died over the previous weekend.
“I am just finding out how many lives he touched,” his mother told the Florida newspaper. “He was married to his passion in life, which was his cooking.”
He was the owner of Bulldog Barbecue in North Miami, Florida, although it’s now listed as permanently closed online.
Bravo Top Chef also confirmed Kleinberg’s death, posting a tribute to him on its Twitter page, writing, “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.”
A story on BravoTv reported that Kleinberg, who was from Florida, had an early job “in the kitchen at the Hotel Intercontinental in downtown Miami.” The site also credited his charitable work for causes like childhood hunger ant pet shelters. He had a rescue dog named Skye, the site reported.
Kleinberg Was Once Described as Possibly Being Miami’s ‘Most Successful Top Chef Alum’
The Miami New Times described Kleinberg as the “sharp-tongued Howie Kleinberg,” saying he “might be Miami’s most successful Top Chef alum.”
His appearance on that show was “love-him-or-hate-him,” according to the news site, but he returned to North Miami to serve up “hulking platters of pulled pork and beef brisket, along with classic sides such as burnt-end-studded beans and fried pickles.”
According to Daily Variety, Kleinberg was in seventh place on “Top Chef,” but “was a fan favorite due to a lively back-and-forth he had with Anthony Bourdain.” That is one of his most memorable moments to fans.
Kleinberg’s obituary says he lived in Hollywood, Florida, and that he is survived by his “beloved dog Skye” and other family members. It reads, in part:
Passed away unexpectedly at 46 years old on July 22, 2022. Known as ‘Chef Howie’ to his friends and family, he loved to cook and went on to compete on Top Chef. Inspired by his love of barbecue and summers spent in North Carolina, he opened his own restaurant, Bulldog BBQ. He later went on to pursue more fine dining options. Participating annually in the South Beach Wine and Food Festival was a great source of pride for him. Howie is survived by his mother, Susan Kleinberg Ratner and stepfather, Ken Ratner. His sister, Amy (William) Wildstein and their three children Whitney, Lindsey, and Phillip and his beloved dog Skye. Donations in Howie’s memory may be made to Bullies-N-Beyond Rescue through PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Feeding South Florida.