This past fall, Bravo’s Top Chef Season 15 Fan Favorite Chef Fatima Ali revealed the heartbreaking news that her cancer had returned and she expected to live about one year; she passed away on January 25 at age 29. But in the months before her death, she inspired fans around the world by bravely indulging in the things she dreamed of doing — for instance visiting some of her self-described “bucket-list” restaurants with cherished friends — and sharing those moments on Instagram.
Chef Fati also documented her visit to appear as a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show; she was a huge Ellen fan, and had found a bit of lightness and comfort while watching the show with her mom during her illness.
Fati made the trip to Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank in November for the taping — with her supportive mom, siblings, cousin, and aunt all in tow. On the show, the host presented her with a check for $50,000 courtesy of sponsor Shutterfly to travel and dine to the extent she still could.
Chef Fati left an indelible impression on Ellen — as she did on people around the globe. Today, Ellen paid tribute to the late chef with a Twitter post that included a photo of the pair together on the set. It read: “I was lucky to share this visit with Fatima. I wish I could have shared more. Sending so much love to her family. I hope they find comfort in knowing how much light she brought to the world.”
I was lucky to share this visit with Fatima. I wish I could have shared more. Sending so much love to her family. I hope they find comfort in knowing how much light she brought to the world. pic.twitter.com/0xAbZSjzFr— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 25, 2019
Watch Chef Fati banter easily with the daytime host on the set:
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