Fatima Ali. Photograph:( Instagram )
The 29-year-old Ali was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone cancer, in 2017.
Internationally-acclaimed chef Fatima Ali known as Chef Fati of ‘Top Chef’ died from a rare form of cancer on January 26.
The 29-year-old Ali was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone cancer, in 2017. She was found to be cancer-free in early 2018, but the disease had returned a few months later in September.
Fatima was at home with us, surrounded by her loved ones and beloved cat Mr. Meow, when she left us in the early hours of the morning. When someone as bright and young and vivacious as our Fati passes, the only metaphor that seems to fit is that of a star—a beacon in the darkness, a light that guides us, on which to make wishes, from which to weave dreams. For all the comfort and beauty they offer us, stars, too, are impermanent. This morning a great one was snuffed out. Though she’s no longer here with us, her spirit will continue to steer us. We hope that you, too, will listen to her lessons: Live your life as she did—to the fullest. Pursue your passion; spread love and joy; be kind and forgiving; be generous; enjoy every morsel—from humble street food to decadent fine dining; cook for the people you love. Travel the world and seek out adventure. Help others and don’t be afraid to take the road less taken. Fatima will always be a part of us, and in fact if you look deep enough, you may find your own inner Fati. If you’re lucky enough to find her there, trust her, listen to her, because she will change your life for the better. We’ve learned a great deal over the course of her illness, not only pragmatic lessons we wish we hadn’t needed to learn about her disease and our health system, but about the immense love of which people are capable; about the power of being true to yourself; about how we can be better if we model ourselves after someone like her. We want to thank everyone from the bottom of our now broken hearts. We’re eternally grateful for the unending support, love, and generosity shown by people along the way—from random strangers we passed on the street who would tell her how much they admire and respect her; to all her doctors and nurses who did their best; the chefs and hospitality friends who are now part of our extended family; and the big wigs that reached out to see how they can make her dreams a reality. This has been a truly humbling experience for us all and even in her last chapter as she began to leave us, Fatima showed us how we should live.
Fellow ‘Top Chef' participant Bruce Kalman wrote a heartfelt post remembering Ali on Instagram. He wrote: “It’s with a heavy heart we say goodbye to Fatima Ali today, as she has lost her battle with cancer,” he said. “I will miss you Fati, and you will be in my heart forever. I’ll always remember the great times we had, especially our interview during the tailgating episode discussing football, stadiums, and Taylor Swift.”
It’s with a heavy heart we say goodbye to Fatima Ali today, as she has lost her battle with cancer. I will miss you Fati, and you will be in my heart forever. I’ll always remember the great times we had, especially our interview during the tailgating episode discussing football, stadiums, and Taylor Swift. Much love, Bruce 😘 #fuckcancer #cheffati #topchef #friends #family #itsnotfair