Late Chef Fatima Ali's Friends and Family Have Memorial Meal in Her Honor

Fatima Ali, a New York City chef who competed on "Top Chef" and won "Chopped," died Jan. 25 at the age of 29.
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Four months after "Top Chef" fan-favorite Fatima Ali died of cancer, her friends and family gathered to eat a meal in her honor.

Fellow contestants from the show, host Padma Lakshmi and many others gathered in Brooklyn, New York, last week to remember their friend, who also won "Chopped."

Ali penned an emotional piece in Bon Appetit last September revealing she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and had just a year left to live. She had previously thought she had beaten the disease, but then doctors found new masses. She died in early January.

Lakshmi shared about the gathering on Instagram Saturday. She said it brought her comfort to be surrounded by those who love Ali, but the night also brought back the "raw feelings" of losing Ali.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Last Sunday friends and family got together for the memorial of our dear departed friend @cheffati. While it was so comforting to be with her family, it brought back all of the raw feelings that I had just very recently managed to somewhat put away. ⁣ ⁣ I’m extremely proud that Fatima’s writing won her a posthumous @beardfoundation award last week. Her brother sat elbow to elbow with the likes of @davidchang and @ciaosamin and talked to me about how much she would have loved being there.⁣⁣ ⁣ Fatima was a quick learner and ambitious as hell. On the show, I laid into her about not choosing between cooking delicious Pakistani street food or doing Western haute cuisine- that the two could exist together and in fact that would be the most exciting food that she could do. She took that critique, absorbed it, and immediately in the next challenge did a version of that. ⁣ ⁣ As a brown woman in professional life, but especially in the male-dominated field of food, we both connected over feeling like outsiders at times. After last week’s ceremony there is no doubt that there was a place for Fatima at the table. I couldn’t be more proud of you, grasshopper. #tbt #fatimaali #topchef

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Fatima was a quick learner and ambitious as hell. ... As a brown woman in professional life, but especially in the male-dominated field of food, we both connected over feeling like outsiders at times. After last week’s ceremony there is no doubt that there was a place for Fatima at the table," Lakshmi wrote.

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