Howard Kleinberg, ‘Top Chef’ Alum, Dead at 46

by Shelby Scott

Bravo’s hit reality TV series, Top Chef, announced on Tuesday that one of its season three alums, Howard Kleinberg, passed away over the weekend. Following the contestant’s passing, the show took to Twitter to share a statement.

“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.”

According to Fox News, Kleinberg was just 46 years old at his time of death. The Top Chef contestant’s mother, Susan, shared that the food connoisseur passed away due to a heart attack. As per the outlet, Howard Kleinberg’s funeral service took place on Tuesday in North Miami. His family asked that people make donations toward one of two causes: Florida pet rescue Bullies-N-Beyond Rescue or Feeding South Florida.

In speaking about the Top Chef alum, Susan said, “I am just finding out how many lives he touched. He was married to his passion in life, which was cooking.”

Kleinberg appeared on Top Chef in 2007. After placing seventh on the show, he went on to open his own restaurant. Also located in FL, Kleinberg named his place Bulldog Barbecue. The establishment resides in Miami.

Top Chef fans shared many kind words on Kleinberg’s obituary page following the release of the tragic news.

“Chef Howie was a fun, big-hearted man,” one sympathizer wrote. “He made me try my first Luther burger and introduced me to the magic of burnt ends. May he Rest In Peace and May his memory be a blessing.”

‘Top Chef’ Star Sustains Brutal Facial Injuries Following Boating Accident

Top Chef began trending earlier this month after another of the show’s stars made major headlines. Over the July 4th weekend, the TV series star, Justin Sutherland, sustained some severe injuries following a boating accident.

According to the Top Chef star’s GoFundMe page, created by his family in order to cover the cost of hospital bills, “Justin’s hat blew off” while “piloting his boat.” In an effort to grab the hat out of the water, the page read that a wave knocked the boat unsteady, and caused Sutherland to fall into the water. Unfortunately for him, he fell in near the motor “and the propellor did a number on his head and left arm.”

Beth Gillies, who organized the Top Chef star’s fundraiser, previously shared he’d been recovering from a broken arm and jaw, remaining hopeful that Sutherland suffered no permanent nerve damage.

Farther down on the GoFundMe page, Gillies, more lightheartedly, wrote, “[Justin] is adding more character to the face we know and love. And the most important news, his beard is still in tact.”

Alongside his role on Top Chef, Justin Sutherland was also crowned champion on another hit reality TV series, Iron Chef America.