The stars of ‘Top Chef’ Season 15 all gathered in Santa Monica, CA to visit with Fatima Ali as her terminal cancer has worsened. We’ve got the loving photos of the cast together.
Fans love seeing Top Chef reunions, as the cheftestants always grow to have such close friendships during the intense Bravo cooking competition. But season 15’s stars gathered in Santa Monica, CA for a very heartbreaking reason on Jan. 13, as beloved fellow cast mate Fatima Ali, 29, is nearing the end of her battle with terminal blood and tissue cancer. Chefs Joe Flamm, Adrienne Cheatham, Tyler Anderson, Bruce Kalman, Tanya Holland, Claudette Wilkins, Carrie Baird, Rogelio Garcia, Chris Scott, Tu David Phu, Joe Sasto, Melissa Perfit, and Laura Cole traveled from the likes of New York, Chicago and even Alaska to reunite with Fati and share some smiles and laughs.
Season 15 winner Joe Flamm even brought along his baby son Luka from Chicago to bring some joy and comfort to Fati. He posted a photo of her cradling the little one in her hospital bed and wrote “Today was a good day #teamfati.” Bruce reposted the photo with the caption, “We all came together, flew in from as far as Alaska, to see this beautiful lady, and got to have some laughs with her. We love you so very much @cheffati#teamfati #4ever #topchef #family.”
San Francisco based chef Melissa shared the group photo but in black and white and wrote: ‘So bittersweet to see all these amazing friends come together to see our sweet @cheffati. It’s impossible to explain how we all feel. You are so amazing. We love you so much.” Oakland restaurant owner Tanya shared another group photo with the caption “A bittersweet reunion. Our dear @cheffati is the glue…we are bonded forever now. #topchef #season15.”
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Season 15 strong. . #wegetbywithalittlehelpfromourfriends #season15 #bravotopchef #topchef #forfati #fatimaali #cheffati #teamfati #chefchrisscott #huffposttaste #beautifulcuisines #eeeeeats #forkyeah #grateful #thankful #blessed #inspired #love
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Fatima was a healthy and vibrant 28-year-old New York chef when she competed on Top Chef: Colorado. But after the show’s taping wrapped, she discovered in late 2017 that she had a rare form of bone and tissue cancer called Ewings Sarcoma. She underwent aggressive treatments and was declared cancer free a few months later in Feb. of 2018. But the disease returned in August with a vengeance.
In a heartbreaking confessional for Bon Appetit magazine in Oct. of 2018, she wrote that the cancer was terminal and she had a year or less to live. On Jan. 10, 2019 she shared in an Instagram post that the end seemed to be coming. “I know it’s been ages since I posted and most may have figured out why. I’m sick and unfortunately I’m getting sicker. Right now all I need are prayers; prayers that are simple.” She said in her October article that “with or without the new chemotherapy regimen” her life would be coming to an end. But it seems to be coming even faster than expected and her fellow cheftestants gathered as a group to show their love and support one last time.