Fatima Ali is determined to live her life to the fullest in the wake of her terminal cancer diagnosis. The Top Chef alum, who was a fan favorite on season 15 of the Bravo series, now says she hopes to write a book.
The talented cook first mentioned her literary aspirations in an Instagram post shared on Monday, November 26. “I’m contemplating writing a short book, or collection of essays or something,” she wrote alongside a photo of an open notebook with words already jotted down. “Question is: would you read it? What kinds of things would you want to learn about me, if anything? Also answers can be: f–k no I won’t read it.”
The post, which has already received more than 12,000 likes, was a hit with Ali’s fans and well wishers who, at her urging, were offering suggestions for topics she should cover. “I would love to read it,” wrote one. “I would be interested in reading about the best meals you’ve ever had, how you improved as a chef, advice you have for those that love to cook and want to get better at it and what cooking food for others means to you.” Suggested another: “How about a cookbook that includes anecdotes with each recipe?”
Aside from her skills in the kitchen, Ali, 29, has proven herself to be a very talented writer, as evidenced by the essay published by Bon Appétit’s Healthyish on October 9 in which she revealed her terminal cancer diagnosis. “The cancer cells my doctors believed had vanished are back with a vengeance in my left hip and femur bone,” she penned at the time. “My oncologist has told me that I have a year to live, with or without the new chemotherapy regimen. I was looking forward to being 30, flirty and thriving. Guess I have to step it up on the flirting. I have no time to lose.”
In addition to writing, Ali has also made it clear she plans to spend her days eating as much as possible. “I am much more keen on visiting new restaurants all around the world and getting my eat on,” she told Us Weekly in October, adding she has her sights set on everything from tiny food stalls to world-renown eateries such as NOMA and Eleven Madison Park.
As Ali continues to live her life, she can rest assured knowing she has immense support from the Top Chef family, including several people affiliated with the show who have donated to a Go Fund Me established so the former reality TV contestant can fulfill her dream of traveling to the world’s best restaurants.
Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, who has developed a friendship with Ali and been by her side through various cancer treatments, told Us she’s not surprised various Top Chef alumni and others have stepped in to help. “It makes me happy,” she said.
“I’ve become close to Fatima because she was a standout contestant on Top Chef, not because she was diagnosed with cancer,” Lakshmi, 48, added. “But I will be here in the way that I’m here for most of our alumni, as and when they need me, if I can be.”