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'Top Chef' Host Padma Lakshmi Wrote A Heartbroken Tribute Essay 3 Days After Fatima Ali Passed Away

Date February 7, 2019 13:28

The Top Chef contestant Fatima Ali passed away at the age of 29, after a prolonged battle with cancer.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Fatima Ali (@cheffati) on

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She was so young and had to live a long and happy life, but unfortunately, the horrible disease took her life forever.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Fatima Ali (@cheffati) on

Fatima’s short life

Ali was born in Pakistan and came to the U.S. at the age of 18 in order to study at the Culinary Institute of America. By the way, she enjoyed cooking since early childhood. She was very motivated and hardworking, and was about to become one of the greatest chefs in the world, but the disease ruined her plans forever.

Back in 2017, she was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer, which is called the Ewing’s sarcoma. She was trying to do everything possible to fight with the disease and to recover, but on January 29, 2019, she lost her battle with cancer. It was a huge shock for her family, friends, and fans.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Fatima Ali (@cheffati) on

A heartbreaking essay

Just three days after the loss of Fatima Ali, the Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi paid a tribute to Fatima by writing a touching essay about the wonderful young girl, whom she was lucky to meet.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Padma Lakshmi (@padmalakshmi) on

In the essay, she told the story of how they first met each other, described Fatima’s “Mona Lisa smile,” and revealed what struck her the most when she saw Ali during the first filming of the show in Colorado.

There are people who come across your path who change you forever. I met Fatima on the first day of filming Top Chef in Colorado. She was hard to miss. She was beautiful, but that's not what struck me. There was a strong defiance in her posture; her hands folded across her slim frame, her lower lip jutting out slightly, a Mona Lisa smile to hide her nervousness. I noticed the glint in her eye and that serious look of determination.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Fatima Ali (@cheffati) on

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She was different, but throughout the show, they got really close:

We both knew we needed to fit in while staying true to our roots. But we had more than shared backgrounds. She was different. When the show aired in 2018, I saw the other side of her—how funny she was, how keenly she got the psychology of the contest. It's a trait you have to possess to succeed, and I knew Fatima had it and would go far.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Padma Lakshmi (@padmalakshmi) on

Even though Fatima’s life was so short, she managed to show others that this world is beautiful and we should enjoy every moment of it.

You couldn't know Fatima without falling in love with her. Her self-awareness, strength and humor were boundless, even until the very end. She showed me that life is truly beautiful and fleeting. She made me appreciate sunlight on my face, the sound of laughter, the smell of cake baking. Fatima's life was short, but her imprint on me will be there forever.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Fatima Ali (@cheffati) on

Three days after Fatima Ali passed away, the Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi wrote a touching essay about her, and it gives an opportunity to know Ali’s personality better.

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