Friends And Family Of Beloved 'Top Chef' Alum Fatima Ali Share Emotional Goodbyes After Her Death At Age 29
Last week, on January 25th, it was announced that former Top Chef contestant, Fatima Ali, had passed away. Ali succumbed to bone cancer. She was 29.
Shortly after filming wrapped on Ali's season on the show, she was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. The young chef underwent several rounds of chemotherapy to treat the disease.
Though initially, it seemed the treatments had worked, the cancer came back and metastasized. Ali was given a year to live.
Her friends have spoken out about their heartbreak at the news of her passing.
Ali moved from Pakistan to America at the age of 18. She attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York to become a chef.
After graduating, she worked hard and became the youngest sous chef at Macy's Stella 34. Later, she became the executive sous chef at La Fonda Del Sol.
When Top Chef initially extended an offer for Ali to participate on the show, Ali turned them down, saying she wasn't ready. They came back two years later and she agreed to do the show.
Ali participated on the 2017-2018 season of Top Chef and came in seventh overall.
"I did pretty well, and thanks to the fans I won fan favorite, which some people say is better than winning the whole thing,"
she told Ellen DeGeneres in an interview.
Fans took to her for the brilliant Pakistani food she made and her sweet and infectious personality.
@nytimes May she rest in peace😔❤🙏— Sekina Hunter (@Sekina Hunter)1548601910.0
@CNN Oh no. Followed her journey on Top Chef and after.. I was thinking about her this morning, wondering how she was doing. So sad 😞— lil (@lil)1548468618.0
@nytimes Her story was heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time.— vogueybear (@vogueybear)1548600241.0
@people Truly a beautiful soul. Her courage while facing a terminal diagnosis was incredibly inspiring.— Jason Gallant (@Jason Gallant)1548463273.0
@CNN This is very painful. RIP sweet girl😔😔— Sweet Dew (@Sweet Dew)1548470413.0
Ali has been very open about dealing with the cancer. She would post updates about the treatment process and her recovery to her Instagram page often.
The other contestants and members of the production team from Top Chef have lent their support. Padma Lakshmi, host of the show, had become close friends with Ali, visiting the young woman between her chemo treatments.
I canceled the @BravoTopChef Facebook Live today due to personal reasons.— Padma Lakshmi (@Padma Lakshmi)1548448876.0
Goodbye lil’ sis. One of our brightest stars has fallen from the sky.... I have no words, but here are some of hers… https://t.co/cboKvKRndR— Padma Lakshmi (@Padma Lakshmi)1548464972.0
Ali wrote on her plans to indulge in life, family, and food with her remaining time.
"What is my intention? To live my life. To fulfill all those genuine dreams I have. It's easy to spend weeks in my pajamas, curled up in my bed, watching Gossip Girl on Netflix.
"But now I'm doing things. I'm going out to eat. I'm making plans for vacations. I'm finding experimental treatments. I'm cooking. I'm writing."