Fatima Ali From ‘Top Chef’ Has Died At The Age Of 29


If you watched the previous season of ‘Top Chef’, you, no doubt, know Fatima Ali. She was a fan favorite but unfortunately, on January 25, she lost a long battle with cancer. Ali passed away at the young age of 29.

Ali was part of season 15 of the show and won the title of Fan Favorite, even though she came in 7th overall. She will always be remembered for her cooking, particularly food from her native Pakistan. She also had a ‘fun personality’ that people loved.

After being diagnosed with cancer near the end of 2017, Ali began to document her battle with the disease publically. She had a type of soft tissue and bone cancer, known as Ewing’s sarcoma. Surgery removed a tumor and nearby cells in her shoulder area and she also went through chemotherapy.

About a month after the surgery in January 2018, she was declared cancer-free. In October, the cancer was ‘back with a vengeance’ and she was given a year to live.

“It’s funny, isn’t it? When we think we have all the time in the world to live, we forget to indulge in the experiences of living,” Ali wrote on the website Healthyish. “When that choice is yanked away from us, that’s when we scramble to feel. I am desperate to overload my senses in the coming months, making reservations at the world’s best restaurants, reaching out to past lovers and friends, and smothering my family, giving them the time that I so selfishly guarded before.”

All of the pictures that were posted on her Instagram page showed her struggle and always a warm smile. She continued to post pictures of wonderful food as well.

Her fellow contestants on ‘Top Chef’ posted tributed. It includes Bruce Kalman, who wrote: “I will miss you Fati, and you will be in my heart forever. I’ll always remember the great times we had.”

Ali was on the Ellen DeGeneres show last year. Ellen posted a picture from their interview.

“I was lucky to share this visit with Fatima. I wish I could have shared more. Sending so much love to her family. I hope they find comfort in knowing how much light she brought to the world,” DeGeneres wrote.

Ali left home at 18 to start her life as a chef. She was enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America and started working in New York.

She was on the show ‘Chopped’ on the Food Network in 2012 and won.

When she was first on ‘Top Chef’, she was not quick to cook Pakistani foods, even though that was her passion.

“I wasn’t sure if the judges were even going to be excited about eating that kind of food, but they were, and that really reinforced a lot of faith in the food that I want to cook,” she said.

It was her dream to own a restaurant in New York one day.

“I dream of my future restaurant, where the kebabs melt against your tongue and the cocktails are just sweet enough to calm the burn,” she wrote on Healthyish in May 2018. “I have never felt more fulfilled than when I let myself crawl into bed late night after a back-breaking day of cooking.”

Her last Instagram post came on January 10 and she had a smile on her face.

“I’m sick and unfortunately I’m getting sicker,” she wrote. “Right now all I need are prayers; prayers that are simple. I hope, because a wish is putting on too much responsibility on the other, that you will somehow find forgiveness in your big heart for whenever I must have hurt you.

“I thank you a million times over for when you have given me joy. I’ll try to keep everyone updated the best that I possibly can.”


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