Padma Lakshmi Lends Her Support to ‘Top Chef’ Contestant Fatima Ali Before Cancer Surgery
By Elisa Osegueda
Top Chef contestant Fatima Ali is feeling the love.
The 28-year-old chef, who was diagnosed last year with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a bone and soft tissue cancer, underwent surgery on Tuesday to remove a tumor. And, before undergoing her procedure, she received a visit from Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi.
"I'd love it if everyone joins me today in saying a special prayer for our @cheffati who went into surgery a couple hours ago," Lakshmi shared on Instagram, along with a selfie of herself and Ali. "She was in good spirits when we walked her into OR, and am hoping for a great outcome today. #topchef #topchefmemories @bravotopchef #f--kcancer."
Over the course of season 15 of Top Chef, Ali has been vocal about her admiration for Lakshmi and the feeling is mutual.
“Padma has been wonderful. We've caught up over lunch, and she has come to sit with me during my chemo treatments to keep me company,” Ali told The Daily Dish in December. “I'm pretty thankful for my Top Chef fam. All of the contestants have reached out in many ways; we are a tight group. I’ve had an outpouring of lovely messages and care packages from the production team and the producers.”
Ali, known for her street-style Pakistani food, has tried to keep a positive attitude through this difficult time.
“I'm looking forward to getting back to work,” she told The Daily Dish. “I've been drawing up plans for my first restaurant, and I'm thinking Los Angeles might be the place. I've also been doing a bit of writing in my downtime, so perhaps that will come together in some kind of book form.”