Sad news out of the food world today, as beloved Top Chef star Fatima Ali has passed away at the age of 29.
Ali had been battling Ewing Sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, since 2017.
News of Chef Fatima’s passing was confirmed today by the Bravo network.
“We are deeply saddened to share the news that Fatima Ali has lost her courageous battle with cancer,” said a representative.
“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.
"People not only fell in love with her cooking, but fell in love with her personality and heart. We hope that the beautiful memories shared with her will provide comfort to everyone who knew and loved her.”
Ali underwent surgery to remove a tumor last year, and she told People magazine that she was "technically cancer-free” while attending the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen last July.
Ali seemed to suspect that her battle was far from over, and sadly, she was right.
In October of 2018, Ali revealed that her cancer had returned with a vengeance in a heartbreaking article for Bon Appetit.
“The cancer cells my doctors believed had vanished are back with a vengeance in my left hip and femur bone," Fatima wrote, adding that doctors had given her “a year to live, with or without the new chemotherapy regimen.”
She opted out of the chemo and instead devoted her final months to experiencing as much of life as she possibly could in the short time she had remaining.
"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," Ali wrote.
"I was looking forward to being 30, flirty, and thriving. Guess I have to step it up on the flirting. I have no time to lose."
A favorite among fans and colleagues on Top Chef, Ali received an outpouring of support from her co-stars after revealing her diagnosis, and now, past and current contestants are paying loving tribute to an incredible talent who was taken much too soon.
“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,” fellow chef Bruce Kalman wrote along with the above photo.
“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.”
Our thoughts go out to Chef Fatima’s loved ones during this incredibly difficult time
She will be greatly missed by many.