'Top Chef' Star Fatima Ali Dead at 29

Top Chef star Fatima Ali died Friday after a long battle with a rare bone cancer.

"Fatima Ali (Chef Fati!) and her brave battle with cancer ended today," Aliza Raza wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of Ali. "Known for her win on Top Chef, but even more for her dynamic personality and hilarious wit, the young chef inspired thousands across borders. Please recite a special prayer for her and her loved ones. May she rest in power [broken heart] #cheffati #f—cancer."

Ali was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in 2017. Early last year, she was declared cancer-free. However, in September, she learned her cancer had returned.

(Photo: Instagram / Bruce Kalman)

Bruce Kaplan, who competed on Top Chef Season 15 with Ali, paid tribute to Ali on Instagram with a photo of himself with her at the hospital.

"It's with a heavy heart we say goodbye to Fatima Ali today, as she has lost her battle with cancer," he wrote. "I will miss you Fati, and you will be in my heart forever. 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."

Ali's death came a week after she reunited with other members of the Top Chef Season 15 cast. Last week, Claudette Wilkins shared a gallery of photos from the reunion.

"These people are my people. Hard to explain the bonds that happen during our time together. I wish they under better circumstances that we were together but when one hurts we all hurt and we rally," she wrote in the caption. "[Chef Ali] is loved beyond belief and we will be here for her and each other. Thankful my kids got to meet them yesterday to see how funny and comfortable we are with each other."

Ali shared her final Instagram post from her hospital bed on Jan. 10, revealing that her condition was only worsening. She thanked her fans for their support in her first post since Dec. 20.

"I know it's been ages since I posted and most may have figured out why," Ali wrote. "I'm sick and unfortunately I'm getting sicker. Right now all I need are prayers; prayers that are simple. I hope, because a wish is putting on too much responsibility on the other, that you will somehow find forgiveness in your big heart for whenever I must have hurt you. I thank you a million times over for when you have given me joy. I'll try to keep everyone updated the best that I possibly can."

Ali appeared on Chopped in 2013 and was named fan favorite contestant for Bravo's Top Chef Season 15. She also made an appearance on General Hospital.


Photo credit: Instagram