Late Top Chef Star Fatima Ali's Family Honors Her by Embarking on Her Dream Culinary World Tour

Late Top Chef Star Fatima Ali's Family Honors Her by Embarking on Her Dream Culinary World Tour


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Fatima Ali‘s memory is living on through her adventurous palate.

The late Top Chef star’s loved ones, including her mother Farezeh Durrani, are honoring her by embarking on a culinary tour she’d wanted to take before her death at age 29 in January after a battle with cancer.

Alongside a photo gallery that leads with the group posing with chef Massimo Bottura and his wife Lara Gilmore, the caption on the post on Ali’s Instagram account explains that Bottura’s new restaurant Casa Maria Luigia in Modena, Italy, was “meant to be Fati’s first stop” during her worldly cuisine sampling.

“She talked passionately about wanting to see Italy, and of course, eat her way through it,” the post read. “We wrote a long list of all of the different food adventures she would have from each country she could get to — Denmark, Peru, France, her beloved Spain, and countless others.”

“To remember Fatima and honour her is to remember to share love and joy with the world, and to soak up all of the incredible experiences you can, while you can 🌼”

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Celebrity Chefs Honor Fatima Ali Following Her Death: “You Will Be in My Heart Forever”

Subsequent snaps showed the family sampling a variety of gourmet dishes, plus the beautiful grounds of Francescana at Maria Luigia — “a turn of the century Carriage House transformed into a stunning dining room with open kitchen, contemporary artwork and views of the surrounding countryside,” according to the eatery’s website.

“The evening will never be forgotten by any who were there, Lara and Chef Massimo both paid special tribute to our Chef Fati, who was no doubt gleefully watching over her mom as she tried to decipher all five of the ages of parmigiano reggiano. 💫,” the caption read. “It was a precious opportunity, to go on a journey Fatima was looking forward to against the intensely challenging odds she was facing, and in some way represent and share a part of her with Chef Massimo. He talked about how deeply moved he was by her story, her writing, and the gesture he could see our mother making.”

“We can be very proud today, of Fatima, and how she continues to inspire people, and of her heartbroken mother who is honouring her daughter’s memory the best way she can — by making an effort to ‘indulge in the experiences of living,’ 💓” the post continued, concluding with a thanks to staff.

“The entire experience was truly food for the soul, connecting two beautiful memories in a place which was made to honour and pay tribute to the love for a mother, and a journey taken there for the love of a daughter 💖💕”

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Ali was first diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in 2017. She had undergone surgery to remove a tumor in her shoulder bone and had told PEOPLE she was “technically cancer-free” at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in July 2018.

But in October, through an emotional essay for Bon Appetit, the chef revealed that her cancer was back “with a vengeance,” and that doctors told her she had about a year left to live. Ellen DeGeneres then gifted Ali with $50,000 courtesy of Shutterfly to help her spend her last year living out her dream of visiting the world’s best restaurants.

Sadly, a representative for Bravo confirmed her death to PEOPLE in January. “We are deeply saddened to share the news that Fatima Ali has lost her courageous battle with cancer,” the statement read.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time. People not only fell in love with her cooking, but fell in love with her personality and heart. We hope that the beautiful memories shared with her will provide comfort to everyone who knew and loved her.”

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