Howie “Howie” Kleinberg, Miami BBQ chef, dies at 46

The Magic City has lost a skilled chef and humble talent with the unexpected death of Howard Kleinberg last week.

The Miami-born died on Friday, July 22nd, and was known by local foodies and those who knew him as “The Hobbyist Chef.” Kleinberg was 46 years old.

Kleinberg is famous for its love of barbecue, and also stands as one of the most successful Magic City Top Boss Competitors, they finished seventh after winning two elimination challenges during the third season of the popular cooking show Bravo.

In 2008, shortly after the series aired, Kleinberg opened Bulldog BBQ & Burger, a North Miami restaurant inspired by his love of barbecue and summers spent with family in North Carolina. After the restaurant closed ten years later, Kleinberg spent time as an executive chef at Anderson. He was a regular participant in the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, an event he held close to his heart as a lifelong resident of Miami.

In March, Kleinberg took over as Executive Chef at Peacock Garden Resto Bar + Grill in Coconut Grove.

“At Peacock Garden we are saddened by the passing of Chef Howie Kleinberg. Howie was an important member of our team and our deepest condolences go to his family,” the restaurant owners share the new era.

Anderson restaurateur Ken Lyon says he will remember Kleinberg as a talented chef, expert barbecue, and a great personality. As a caterer, the restaurateur often worked with Kleinberg’s mother, Susan, a local event planner, after moving to Miami.

“I didn’t know him that well before, but we ended up working together when we reopened Anderson,” says Leon, who hired Kleinberg in October 2020 to relaunch the venue’s food and drink concepts amid the pandemic. “We’ve been together for a year, and I’m very fortunate to have had that time with him.”

Together, the duo had an idea to launch a new restaurant concept in Anderson, but the opportunity never came to fruition. Instead, the chef followed his passion for fine dining, taking over the Peacock Garden.

Adds Lyon, who encouraged Kleinberg to deliver several successful UPS barbecues via Anderson. “I was amazed to know him. It was refreshing that he really knew classic old school recipes, the basics that not many young chefs these days know how to prepare. He had a real talent.”

For Terry Zarician, the culinary director of South Beach and New York Wine and Food Festivals Kleinberg has known since childhood, the chef’s death would feel out of place in the kitchen.

“He just landed a job as Executive Chef at Peacock Garden, and he was very excited about it,” Zarician said. the new era. “I have fond memories of going out to dinner with him and his mom in NYC. I will never forget how fine the impression the fine dining atmosphere made at Howie. And I will never forget the beef staple – his favorite dish.”

Hoy is survived by his mother Susan Kleinberg Ratner and stepfather Ken Ratner. His sister, Amy Wildenstein (William Wildenstein), their three children, Whitney, Lindsey, and Philip, and his dog Skye.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 26 at Levitt-Weinstein Blasberg, Rubin-Zilbert Memorial Chapels, 18840 W. Dixie Hwy. , North Miami Beach. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations in the chef’s name and memory to Miami-based Bullies-N-Beyond Rescue (via PayPal at [email protected]) or to Feeding South Florida.

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