Padma Lakshmi’s support for Top Chef contestants extends beyond the kitchen.
On Tuesday, the television host posted a photo of herself at the hospital bedside of Chef Fatima Ali, a Top Chef hopeful who was preparing for surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from her shoulder.
“I’d love it if everyone joins me today in saying a special prayer for our @ceffati who went into surgery a couple hours ago,” Lakshmi’s caption reads. “She was in good spirits when we walked her into OR, and am hoping for a great outcome today.”
Ali, a.k.a “Chef Fati,” was a contestant on the 15th season of Bravo’s Top Chef, which was filmed in Colorado in Spring 2017. She was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a bone cancer that has been plaguing her left shoulder, the following Fall. In December, the 28-year-old told Bravo’s The Daily Dish that she is in her fourth cycle of chemotherapy. She also spoke on the support she has received from her “Top Chef fam.”
“All of the contestants have reached out in many ways; we are a tight group,” she said. “I’ve had an outpouring of lovely messages and care packages from the production team and the producers. And 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. I’m pretty thankful for my Top Chef fam.”
Season 15 of Top Chef premiered December 7, 2017, and Ali is currently still in the running. Watch Chef Fati’s journey on the show Thursdays at 10 p.m. on Bravo.