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The Daily Dish Top Chef

Bravo's Top Chef Judges Show Support for Fatima Ali Following Terminal Cancer Diagnosis

Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, and Graham Elliot reflect on the Season 15 contestant's cancer battle.

By Laura Rosenfeld
Bravo's Top Chef Judges Open Up About Fatima Ali's Cancer Battle

Fatima Ali hasn't had to fight her battle against Ewing's sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer, alone. The entire Bravo's Top Chef family has rallied around the Season 15 Fan Favorite winner ever since she shared the news of her diagnosis at the end of 2017. 

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That outpouring of support has continued following the news that Fatima's cancer has returned and doctors have given her a year to live, which she shared in an essay published on Healthyish earlier this month. In addition to their visits, kind words on social media, and promotion of a GoFundMe established for Fatima, Bravo's Top Chef judges shared more touching messages for the former Cheftestant as they reflected on her cancer battle on the red carpet for the show's PaleyFest NY event on October 18, which you can view, above. 

Padma Lakshmi, who has been by Fatima's side throughout her cancer battle, shared how she's doing since receiving the recent news about her health. "She's a trooper. She's doing really well. She still has her very wicked sense of humor," she told The Daily Dish. "She'll do the best she can." 

Tom Colicchio praised Fatima's composure during this difficult time. "I think the way that she is conducting herself and the bravery that she’s shown and just the idea that, 'Yeah, I’m gonna die, we’re all gonna die, but I’m going to live my last year with everything I have,' I think that’s really brave and really outstanding," he said during an interview with The Daily Dish on the red carpet. "So we’re looking forward to helping her along the best we can, and I just wish her peace."


Graham Elliot told The Daily Dish that seeing Fatima go through this hardship has put things into perspective for him in his own life. "You know it’s really, really hard when we bond with someone not only as a chef or contestant, but also as a friend, and then you see their journey and where they’re at," he shared. "And I guess we’re all trying to think of whatever we can do to help that situation, and it makes us focus on what’s important and how to live every day as well, as best we can, and appreciate it." 

Gail Simmons reaffirmed the entire Bravo's Top Chef family's commitment to helping Fatima every step of the way of this journey. "The chef community in general is a pretty tight group of people, the restaurant industry. We take care of our own. And even more so, Top Chef. What she went through with all of our contestants is a very unique thing. Only 16 groups of people have ever done it. And Tom, Padma, and I always say it puts them in a situation that they never anticipated, and the relationships that grow out of that are very, very special," she told The Daily Dish. "We feel that way about the contestants, that once they're on the show, they really become part of our family in a way I can't really explain to anyone. So she's one of us, and once you're with us, you're with us for good. So we're there for her, and we're happy that we can be and whatever we can do. She's the best." 

Fatima's fellow Season 15 Cheftestants Joe Flamm and Adrienne Cheatham previously opened up about her cancer battle during an interview with The Daily Dish in March, which you can find below.

Top Chef Finalists Adrienne Cheatham and Joe Flamm Open Up About Fatima Ali's Cancer Battle

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