A fan favorite from “Top Chef” has died Friday at age 29 of a rare form of bone cancer.
Fatima Ali told the world in October in a poignant essay that she had less than a year to live because her Ewing’s Sarcoma had returned. It was particularly devastating because Ali had been “technically cancer-free” just a few months earlier, following surgery.
Ali appeared on Season 15 of the popular Bravo show, and while she didn’t win, she was voted “fan favorite” that season, reports People. She was known for her “fun personality and excellent cooking” of food from her native Pakistan, Bravo said.
“We are deeply saddened to share the news that Fatima Ali has lost her courageous battle with cancer,” said a Bravo statement, per USA Today. “Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.”
Her fellow “Top Chef” contestants posted tributes to Ali on Friday. They included chef Bruce Kalman, who wrote, “I will miss you Fati, and you will be in my heart forever. I’ll always remember the great times we had.”
Ali left her native Pakistan at 18 to become a student at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and hoped to open her own restaurant someday.
“I dream of my future restaurant, where the kebabs melt against your tongue and the cocktails are just sweet enough to calm the burn,” she wrote on Healthyish in May 2018. “I have never felt more fulfilled than when I let myself crawl into bed late night after a back-breaking day of cooking.”
Two weeks ago, she posted a health update on Instagram, asking for prayers.
“I thank you a million times over for when you have given me joy,” she told her fans.
(Read more Top Chef stories.)
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