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The Daily Dish Top Chef

Top Chef's Fatima Ali Feels "Stuffed and Loved" After Being Honored by Her Fellow Cheftestants

Top Chef Season 15 contestants held a benefit dinner to honor their friend amid her cancer battle.

By Laura Rosenfeld

The Top Chef family came out to support Fatima Ali amid her battle with cancer in the best way they know how: by cooking up the most delicious dinner we ever did see. 

How to Watch

Watch Top Chef Season 21 Wednesdays at 9/8c on Bravo and next day on Peacock.

Top Chef Season 15 contestants Adrienne Cheatham and Chris Scott joined Tyler Anderson at his Simsbury, Connecticut restaurant, Millwright's, to serve up a five-course dinner of seasonal soul food on Sunday, March 25. The menu included Adrienne's now-iconic spoonbread, uni and caviar, and buttermilk dashi dish that she wowed the judges with in the Top Chef Season 15 finale, as well as the chefs' chicken and dumplings, scrapple with cornbread, okra chow-chow, and peanut sabayon, and smoked pork hock with scallops and wild mushrooms. The restaurant's pastry chef Kristin Eddy was also on hand to prepare a lemon tart with a brown sugar and honey graham and toasted meringue.


A post shared by Millwrights Restaurant (@millwrightsrestaurant) on

We are at the TOP of the hour and the food is starting to make an entrance.

A post shared by Millwrights Restaurant (@millwrightsrestaurant) on


The event raised close to $4,000. All of the profits from the dinner will be donated to The Sarcoma Foundation of America in Fatima's name. The Cheftestant was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer, last fall. After several rounds of chemotherapy and surgery on her left shoulder to remove a cancerous tumor this winter, Fatima was declared cancer-free in February.

Adrienne and Chris were all smiles at the event. Photo: Connecticut Food and Farm

Millwright's exuded rustic elegance at the event. Photo: Connecticut Food and Farm

Chris, Tyler, and Adrienne pose with the rest of the team at Millwright's. Photo: Connecticut Food and Farm

Adrienne and Chris prep the five-course dinner in the Millwright's kitchen. Photo: Connecticut Food and Farm

Fatima wrote on Instagram that she felt "stuffed and loved" after enjoying "a fantastic dinner," thanks to Tyler, Adrienne, and Chris, who had a similarly touching post about the event on Instagram. "Absolutely loved this evening. Cooking at Tyler's place. Connecting with Fatima and Adrienne...... and making new friends along the way," Chris wrote on Instagram. "Thank you @potsandpans77 [Tyler] and @millwrightsrestaurant for your hospitality and genuine kindness. Tonight we kicked [cancer's] ass, and raised money for @curesarcoma. [Love] you guys." 

The Top Chef family is back together again! Photo: Connecticut Food and Farm

We imagine this was a lot more fun than a Sudden Death Quickfire challenge. Photo: Connecticut Food and Farm

Chris is in the process of cooking up something delicious! Photo: Connecticut Food and Farm

It won't be long before we see Fatima make her triumphant return to cooking. She's slated to join Tyler and fellow Top Chef Season 15 contestant Bruce Kalman, as well as Top Chef Masters alum Elizabeth Falkner, at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine event in April. Their event, the aptly-titled Goldilocks and the Three Top Chef Bears, is already sold out, according to Pebble Beach Food & Wine's website.

Top Chef Season 15 winner and Fatima's good friend Joe Flamm praised her strength as she prepares to head back into the kitchen when The Daily Dish caught up with him earlier this month. "She's getting that itch to get back into the kitchen again. Seeing that, like that little fire inside of her, 'I need to be cooking, I need to be going,' because she's such a full-speed person. That's how she is in the kitchen. That's the type of chef she is. It's just like nothing can stop her. To see that back in her where she's like, 'All right, I need to go, this needs to happen,' it's awesome. It's incredible. That got me really fired up," he shared. "She's gone through physical changes. She had parts of her shoulder removed, like muscle from there. Being a right-handed cook, you do so many things with your non-dominant hand. It's gonna change the way she has to cook and how she has to act in the kitchen, but she's excited to get in there and do it. If anybody can do it, it's her." 

Top Chef host and judge Padma Lakshmi opens up about Fatima's road to recovery, below.

Padma on a #TopChef’s Cancer Diagnosis

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