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Bravo's Top Chef alum Howard "Howie" Kleinberg has passed away at the age of 46.
Howie's mother, Susan, confirmed to the Miami Herald that the chef passed away over the weekend after suffering a heart attack. “I am just finding out how many lives he touched,” she told the publication. “He was married to his passion in life, which was his cooking.”
“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.”
Howie, a South Florida native, 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.
After placing seventh in Season 3 of Top Chef, Howie would go on to open his own restaurant, Bulldog Barbecue, in Miami. He later pursued more fine dining endeavors, according to his obituary. Howie also participated annually in the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
Howie also worked to support causes close to his heart, including contributing to "Taste of the Nation," which raises money to address childhood hunger, and raising money for pet shelters, in addition to having a rescue dog, Skye, at the time of his death.
Howie's family asks that any donations be made in his memory to the pet rescue Bullies-N-Beyond Rescue or to Feeding South Florida.
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