‘Top Chef’ Star Fatima Ali Has Died At Age 29 After Battling A Rare Form Of Cancer

On Friday, Jan. 25, New York chef and Top Chef star Fatima Ali died from a rare form of cancer. She was 29. Ali’s family confirmed the news of her death to Pakistani newspaper Dawn. In a statement provided to People, a representative for Bravo said,

An accomplished chef, Ali was the youngest person to hold the title of Executive Sous Chef at Macy’s Stella 34. She also went on to become the Executive Sous Chef at La Fonda Del Sol. In 2012, she became the first Pakistani woman to win Food Network series Chopped. Several years later, she was a contestant on the 15th season of Top Chef.

Ali was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in 2017 and was declared cancer-free the following year. However, in September 2018, she learned the cancer had returned. In an essay for Bon Appétit, Ali wrote,

After the Bon Appétit piece was released, Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi posted a photo she took with Ali in the hospital, as well as a long and moving message. "You’ve said on the show that growing up I inspired you," Lakshmi wrote near the end of the thread. "But Fati, now, it’s you who inspire me."

On Jan. 10, Ali shared a heartbreaking health update on Instagram. “I know it’s been ages since I posted and most may have figured out why,” the post began. “I’m sick and unfortunately I’m getting sicker.” She asked her followers for prayers and said she would “try to keep everyone updated.” Sadly, this was Ali’s last post.

Last week, members of Ali’s Top Chef family traveled to Los Angeles to spend some time with her. Season 15 alum Bruce Kalman wrote on Instagram, "We all came together, flew in from as far as Alaska, to see this beautiful lady, and got to have some laughs with her. We love you so very much @cheffati." Along with a photo of the group, Melissa Perfit of Season 15 posted,

Kalman broke the news of her death on Friday, writing,

All the love to Ali’s family, friends, and Top Chef family during this difficult time.

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