Fatima Ali continues to share her remarkable optimism — as well as her culinary brilliance — even after losing her battle with cancer on January 25 at age 29. Before her death, she wrote a powerful essay, which Bon Appétit published online on the day she passed away to honor her memory. In it, the Bravo's Top Chef Season 15's Fan Favorite winner shared more about the "bucket list" of restaurants and food experiences she had been creating, and moving through — including one powerful restaurant experience that brought her family to tears.
In the essay, she also shared that she had been working on recipes in her final months. "My brother and I have challenged ourselves to write a recipe a day," she wrote. "Spaghetti; braised lamb with Pakistani spices and root vegetables; comfort food. Things I like to eat. Things people will actually make. Every day I come up with a recipe I’ve never made before, write it down in a notebook, make a little drawing of it, go shopping for those ingredients, and cook it."
In another one of many ways Chef Fati's inspiring legacy could live on for fans around the world, these recipes seem like they could be destined for publishing and distribution.
"My brother wants to compile them all," Chef Fati wrote. "He’ll turn them into something one day."
After her diagnosis, Chef Fati had shared with Instagram followers that she might be interested in writing a book — and fans devoured the idea. "I'm contemplating writing a short book, or collection of essays or something," she wrote on Instagram, reaching out to followers for their thoughts on the idea. "Question is: would you read it? What kinds of things would you want to learn about me, if anything?"
Fans — to the tune of nearly 1,000 commenters and 8,000 likes in just the first three hours after the post went up — poured in with support for the idea.
"Are you crazy? I'd be upset if you didn't do this," wrote fellow Top Chef competitor Joe Sasto. "You're an amazing writer."
Others urged her to consider including recipes — and it appears those yet-unknown recipes could indeed still become another gift from Chef Fati to the world.
If you would like to donate to the Sarcoma Foundation of America, visit curesarcoma.org.
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