Top Chef: Fatima Ali Passed Away

The Cheftestant was only 29 years old.

January 25, 2019 5:00pm

This is a sad day in the Top Chef universe. Fan favorite, Fatima Ali, after her battle against bone cancer. Her family confirmed to Bravo that she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in late 2017. The cancer went into remission, but it returned last October. That’s when she learned her diagnosis was terminal.

My first memory was of Fatima Ali was when she appeared on (and won) an episode of Chopped. Fatima specialized in modern Pakistani cuisine and became friends with Top Chef’s host, Padma Lakshmi.


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Dear friends, I have seen @cheffati grow and blossom every day I walked into the @bravotopchef kitchen. I have seen Fatima’s ambition sharpen over weeks of competition, seen her soar along with all of you. Most of you will read Fatima’s writing for the first time in this @bonappetit piece. Since her diagnosis I have been fortunate enough to get to know her deeper and in a new light. Over these months, I have come to know her family. Her mother has shown me her older writing which is just as poignant. I am pleased to share my friend’s story with you all today. I am so proud of her. I can tell you that in these months I have not only seen her continue to find her voice, but been inspired by her exponentially. I have gotten to know most of her family and in them I see my own. I was in the hospital with her the morning she had surgery months ago and witnessed her courage. The day after my @nytimes piece came out, I went to see her, and she cheered me on by holding my hand from the hospital bed, assuring me I had not flayed myself in vain. I was with her last night as she went in for radiation and she still turned back to smile at her mother and me when the nurse with the wheelchair came. I hope that this year brings her as much as she can hope for. You’ve said on the show that growing up I inspired you. But Fati, now, it’s you who inspire me. Everyday. I love you Fati. Link in bio. #teamfati

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Just last week, her Top Chef castmates reunited to support their friend. Bruce Kalman posted this on his Instagram to pay tribute to Fati.

“We are deeply saddened to share the news that Fatima Ali has lost her courageous battle with cancer. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time. People not only fell in love with her cooking, but fell in love with her personality and heart. We hope that the beautiful memories shared with her will provide comfort to everyone who knew and loved her,” as reported by TODAY, per a statement from The Bravo “Top Chef” family.

This video will make you smile through your tears. Leave it to Ellen Degeneres (the queen of the do-gooders) to make a positive change at the end of Fatima’s life.

Since Fati won fan favorite, let’s share all the things we love about her in the comment section below! 

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