Top Chef Contestant Howie Kleinberg Dead at 46

·1 min read

Top Chef season three contestant Howard "Howie" Kleinberg has died. He was 46.

Howie's mother, Susan Kleinberg, told the Miami Herald that her son suffered a heart attack over the weekend.

"I am just finding out how many lives he touched," Susan told the outlet on Monday. "He was married to his passion in life, which was his cooking."

The Bravo Top Chef Twitter account shared condolences on the social media platform. "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 message wrote.

Chef Howie Kleinberg attends Perrier-Jouët BubbleQ at Delano Hotel on February 26, 2010 in Miami, Florida.
Chef Howie Kleinberg attends Perrier-Jouët BubbleQ at Delano Hotel on February 26, 2010 in Miami, Florida.

Gustavo Caballero/Getty

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Howie ranked seventh place on his season of Top Chef in 2007. After his success on the show, he opened up Bulldog Barbecue in North Miami.

TOP CHEF -- Season 3 -- Pictured: Howie Kleinberg
TOP CHEF -- Season 3 -- Pictured: Howie Kleinberg

Virginia Sherwood/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty

The South Florida native made his mark on his hometown community and even participated every year at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, according to his obituary.

Howie began his career in the kitchen at a Miami Intercontinental Hotel, according to his mother. "He came home the first day complaining, 'Look how red my hands are!' But after a couple of weeks, he said, 'I think I kind of like this,'" Susan said.