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The Daily Dish Top Chef

Gail Simmons Opens Up About Fatima Ali: "She Touched Us All So Deeply"

The Bravo's Top Chef judge paid tribute to the late Season 15 contestant.

By Laura Rosenfeld
Celebrating the Life of Bravo's Top Chef Alum Fatima Ali

Bravo's Top Chef judge Gail Simmons was one of the people who had the pleasure of tasting Fatima Ali's cooking while she competed in Season 15 of the culinary competition. So of course Gail knows what a loss Fatima's passing on January 25 is to the culinary world.

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Gail opened up about Fatima's passing in an Instagram post on January 25. "At a loss for what to say, so just going to let @cheffati’s beautiful words speak for themselves," she wrote in a post that featured the following quote from the late chef: "It's funny, isn't it? When we think we have all the time in the world to live, we forget to indulge in the experiences of living. When that choice is yanked away from us, that's when we scramble to feel."

Fatima passed away on January 25, a little more than a year after she was first diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer. She appeared in Season 15 of Top Chef where she came in at seventh place after being eliminated in Episode 9. Fatima would go on to be voted the Fan Favorite winner of the season.

In her note, Gail also sent her condolences to Fatima's loved ones and reflected on the chef's impact on all those with whom she came in contact. "Sending love and prayers to her family," Gail shared. "She touched us all so deeply and will be forever missed."

In addition to Gail, the entire Top Chef family has been paying tribute to Fatima in the days after her passing, including judges Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio, as well as Season 15's Cheftestants.

If you would like to donate to the Sarcoma Foundation of America, visit

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