Padma Lakshmi Supports ‘Top Chef’ Contestant Fatima Ali as She Undergoes Surgery for Cancer

Using her platform for a great cause. Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi took to Instagram on Tuesday, January 16, with one simple request for her followers.

“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,” she captioned a picture of herself with Bravo’s season 15 frontrunner Fatima Ali.

She continued: “She was in good spirits when we walked her into OR, and am hoping for a great outcome today. #topchef #topchefmemories@bravotopchef #fuckcancer”

Fatima Ali Top Chef
Fatima Ali on ‘Top Chef.’ Tommy Garcia/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The TV host’s post prompted well wishes for the reality show contestant. “Sending love and light to you @cheffati,” one commenter wrote. “Sending you so much love Fatima! You’re a strong warrior! You’re going to come out of this swinging”

Another added: “Thank you @padmalakshmi for being there for her. Her epic culinary family is here sending her all the light, love, and positive vibes we have. 💚 You got this @cheffati … #FuckCancer.”

According to Bravo, the 28-year-old chef has a type of bone and soft tissue cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma and she underwent four rounds of chemotherapy in the fall of 2017.

Ali has been vocal about her admiration for Lakshmi on the competition series. “I don’t watch those interviews until months and months later,” Lakshmi told Us in December about Ali’s comments. “I didn’t know she was specifically speaking about me in those interviews.”

“But there aren’t that many South Asian women on TV, so I do get stopped on the street by women of color because of that fact,” the cookbook author continued. “I’m playing a role on TV not because the color of my skin but because of the fact that I’m able to do my job well. I think that’s what every woman wants whether they are of color or not. Does she know about me? I’m not surprised … Anyone who comes on Top Chef obviously knows about me, but I didn’t know she was such a fan necessarily.”

Reporting by Sharon Tharp

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