How 'Top Chef' Alum Fatima Ali Plans to Spend Her Final Year After Terminal Cancer Diagnosis

Top Chef alum Fatima Ali recently revealed her terminal cancer diagnosis, and is now sharing how [...]

Top Chef alum Fatima Ali recently revealed her terminal cancer diagnosis, and is now sharing how she plans to spend her final year.

While speaking to Us Weekly, Ali revealed how she plans to eat as much as she can and try new places and foods during the next several months.

"I am much more keen on visiting new restaurants all around the world and getting my eat on," the 29-year-old said, adding that she is not limiting herself because she "will never say no to a good meal — be it the tiniest of road side stalls (often my favorite) to the best in the world like NOMA or Eleven Madison Park."

Ali went on reveal what was the best meal she has ever had, saying that she encountered it while she was studying at the Culinary Institute of America.

"I was lucky enough to travel through Spain with my class. I left my heart in San Sebastian at a cider house called Gurutzeta where giant wooden barrels line the walls are filled with crisp, slightly effervescent dreams of liquid gold," she said.

"The delicate bacalao tortilla, perfectly cooked and seasoned T-Bone steak and fresh walnuts are all you eat in between sampling from the cider barrels – calling out 'Txotx' as an invitation to drink with all those sitting on the communal tables," Ali went on to recall. "Despite the copious amounts of cider before noon and a heavy afternoon siesta on the bus on the way back, I will never forget that day."

On Oct. 9, Bon Appétit's Healthyish published an essay that Ali had written to announce her new diagnosis.

"The cancer cells my doctors believed had vanished are back with a vengeance in my left hip and femur bone. My oncologist has told me that I have a year to live, with or without the new chemotherapy regimen," she 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."

"I used to dream of owning my own restaurant. Now I have an ever growing list of the ones I need to visit," she went on to say. "From decadent uni and truffle toast at Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare to spice-laden Szechuan hot pot in Flushing, I'm sketching a plan to eat my way through New York and the boroughs while I can."

You can read Ali's entire essay here.