×

Padma Lakshmi Remembers ‘Top Chef’ Star Fatima Ali: ‘She Didn’t Even See Her 30th Birthday’

Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi shared fond thoughts about late “Top Chef” star Fatima Ali, who recently lost her battle with cancer at the age of 29.

Known as Chef Fati on Season 15 of the Bravo series, the “Top Chef” contestant died in late January from a rare form of bone cancer, Ewing’s sarcoma.

“It’s the first chef that’s been on the show that’s passed away for any reason,” Lakshmi said, speaking to Variety at the American Heart Association’s 15th annual Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection event on Thursday evening.

“Fatima was a really special young woman. I got very close with her,” Lakshmi said. “I usually don’t fraternize with them during the competition, but after, I did keep in touch with a lot of them, and it’s really sad. She didn’t even see her 30th birthday. We’re all feeling her absence. She was just one of our brightest stars, so I just feel for her family now.”

Ali was diagnosed in 2017, and was declared cancer-free in early 2018, but the terminal disease returned a few months later in September. She died on Jan. 25.

Lakshmi served as host of the American Heart Association runway show in New York City. The event raises awareness of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death among woman, claiming the lives of one in three.

More TV

  • 'The Muppets' Short-Form Series Coming to

    'The Muppets' Short-Form Series Coming to Disney Plus

    Kermit, Miss Piggy and co. are coming to Disney Plus. A short-form unscripted series starring the goofy puppets is set to premiere on the forthcoming Disney streaming service in 2020. The news was announced at the Disney Plus D23 Expo event. The announcement came with a brief teaser of Kermit and Joe the Legal Weasel [...]

  • Succession HBO

    'Succession' Composer Nicholas Britell on Making Music for the One Percent

    The Roys, the media empire family at the heart of HBO’s “Succession,” are ridiculously rich. They’re manipulative and cruel. They’re also a bit delusional and absurd. When Nicholas Britell conceived the show’s score, he wanted to capture all of that. “I wrote in this almost late-1700s, dark classical zone,” says Britell, the Oscar-nominated composer of [...]

  • Ewan McGregor of 'American Pastoral'Variety and

    Ewan McGregor Confirms Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney Plus Series to Shoot Next Year

    Ewan McGregor has confirmed that he will be reprising the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi for a Disney Plus series centered around the powerful Jedi, after Variety previously reported that he was in talks for the series. At Disney biennial D23 convention in Anaheim, Calif. on Friday, McGregor provided more details about the prospective show and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content