‘Top Chef’ Star Howard Kleinberg Dead At Age 46

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Food Network SoBe Wine & Food Festival)

Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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“Top Chef” star Howard Kleinberg died over the weekend at age 46 after suffering a heart attack, his mother said.

Kleinberg was best known for his 2007 appearance on Bravo’s “Top Chef: Miami”, where he placed seventh in the cooking competition show, TMZ reported Wednesday. He then went on to further his love for the culinary arts by opening Bulldog Barbecue, his own restaurant in North Miami, according to the Miami Herald.

Kleinberg’s mother, Susan, came forward to announce the news of his passing. “I am just finding out how many lives he touched,” she said, according to Miami Herald. “He was married to his passion in life, which was his cooking.”

Susan also revealed Kleinberg suffered the same fate as his father, who passed away from a heart attack at the age of 34, according to the Miami Herald. Kleinberg was reportedly just 6 years old at the time of his father’s death. (RELATED: Famous Chef Justin Sutherland Shares Gruesome Photos Of His Facial Injuries)

Kleinberg’s death was publicly announced in a local obituary, according to the outlet

Bravo paid tribute to Kleinberg by posting fond words and memories about the chef on its Twitter page. “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,” Bravo tweeted.

Kleinberg is survived by his mother Susan and his step-father as well as his sister and her children, according to TMZ.