Monday, 6 December 2021

BATTLE WITH CANCER: ‘Top Chef’ star Fatima Ali dies at 29

Tommy Garcia/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

NEW YORK: Pakistani-American top chef Fatima Ali wrote a powerful and moving essay three months before she lost a prolonged battle with cancer on Friday.

Pakistan-origin ‘Top Chef’ Fatima Ali passed away from a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma. She was only 29-years-old.

The reality TV star, whose death became top Google trending search, was candid about her experience with the disease, and opened up even more in an emotional essay for Bon Appétit.

A statement was posted to Ali’s Instagram account Saturday, stating that she died at home while surrounded by her loved ones and cat, Mr. Meow.

“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,” the statement read. “For all the comfort and beauty they offer us, stars, too, are impermanent. This morning a great one was snuffed out.”

Ali’s friend, Alizah Raza, also posted the sad news on Instagram.

“Fatima Ali (Chef Fati!) and her brave battle with cancer ended today. Known for her win on Top Chef, but even more for her dynamic personality and hilarious wit, the young chef inspired thousands across borders,” Raza wrote. “Please recite a special prayer for her and her loved ones. May she rest in power.”

Bruce Kalman, who competed on Ali’s season of “Top Chef,” added, “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.”

Ali made waves this past October when she penned a heartbreaking essay for Bon Appetit, revealing that the cancer she battled in 2017 had returned “with a vengeance.” She was told she had about a year to live at the time.


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In the candid piece, she spoke about upgrading her life and living it to the fullest with the time she had left.

“It’s funny, isn’t it?” she writes. “When we think we have all the time in the world to live, we forget to indulge in the experiences of living … 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.”

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