Top Chef contestant and fan favorite, Fatima Ali is dead. She died on Friday, at the age of 29 after a year long battle with cancer.
Fatima Ali came in seventh on season 15 but won the Fan Favorite title when the season ended early last year. She was known for her “fun personality and excellent cooking” of food from her native Pakistan.
Her family confirmed the news via Ali’s social media account.
“Fatima was at home with us, surrounded by her loved ones and beloved cat Mr. Meow, when she left us in the early hours of the morning,” the post read.
“When someone as bright and young and vivacious as our Fati passes, the only metaphor that seems to fit is that of a star—a beacon in the darkness, a light that guides us, on which to make wishes, from which to weave dreams. For all the comfort and beauty they offer us, stars, too, are impermanent. This morning a great one was snuffed out.”
Ali publicly documented her battle with cancer since being diagnosed at the end of 2017 with Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer. She had chemotherapy and surgery to remove a tumor and surrounding cells in her left shoulder in January 2018.
Doctors declared her cancer-free about a month later, but last October, Ali revealed in an online essay that her cancer was “back with a vengeance” and she had a year to live.