Lakshmi, 48, posted a clip of Ali singing “Colors of the Wind” from Disney’s Pocahontas via Instagram on Sunday, January 27. “Goodnight angel,” the Easy Exotic cookbook author captioned the video.
Two days prior, Lakshmi honored her friend with a moving tribute. “Goodbye lil’ sis. One of our brightest stars has fallen from the sky,” she wrote on Instagram along with photo slideshow. “I have no words, but here are some of hers: ‘I dream of being better. I dream of being myself again, but I know I’ll never quite be the same, and that’s okay. I know I’ll be different, and, despite the worry that settles into me every time I wake up, I look forward to meeting that woman one day.’ #teamfati.”
“Padma has taken out much time for me and my family,” Ali told Us Weekly in October 2018. “Coming to sit with me during chemo, popping in with homemade khichdi (an Indian side dish) or sending over delicious chicken and homemade samosas. While battling cancer, I have had energy for little else sometimes, and knowing that I have such a strong support system around me brings me great peace.”
The Top Chef season 15 contestant died on Friday, January 25, just over a year after she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. She was 29. “It’s with a heavy heart we say goodbye to Fatima Ali today, as she has lost her battle with cancer,” chef Bruce Kalman, who competed against Ali on the Bravo TV series, announced on Instagram.
He continued: “I will miss you Fati, and you will be in my heart forever. I’ll always remember the great times we had, especially our interview during the tailgating episode discussing football, stadiums, and Taylor Swift.”
With reporting by Marc Lupo