Pakistani chef Fatima Ali wins James Beard Award posthumously for second time

Late Pakistan-American chef was honoured with accolade at a ceremony in Chicago

Web Desk
Sunday, June 04, 2023
Fatima Ali appeared on Season 15 of Bravo's cooking competition series "Top Chef". — Bravo/File

Pakistani-American chef Fatima Ali, who passed away in 2019 after a prolonged battle with cancer, has been conferred with James Beard Award posthumously for the second time.

Ali, the daughter of Ashtar Ausaf Ali, former attorney general for Pakistan, was known for her successful appearances on reality cooking shows — Chopped and Top Chef — and for winning a James Beard Foundation Award for her essay on living with sarcoma.

On her deathbed, she wrote a book titled Savor, A Chef's Hunger for More. Her literary work was published after her demise and, in a short time, earned literary acclaim.

In a massive recognition for her and Pakistan, at a ceremony studded with stars from the culinary world in Chicago, United States, she was honoured with the second James Beard Award on Saturday.

“Even in her death, she lives. Her achievements are well documented, and her latest book will outlive all of us,” said her father in a statement.

“While we mourn her loss, we need to celebrate her life and her achievements,” he added.

Ali, who moved to New York at the age of 18, rose to fame on Bravo's Top Chef where she came in seventh on season 15 but won the Fan Favorite title when the season ended early last year. She was known for her "fun personality and excellent cooking" of food.

She won the award for her essay I’m a Chef with Terminal Cancer. This Is What I’m Doing with the Time I Have Leftwritten in October 2018 for Bon Appetite magazine.

Ali was diagnosed with cancer at the end of 2017 with Ewing's sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer.

She had chemotherapy and surgery to remove a tumour and surrounding cells in her left shoulder in January 2018. However, her health later deteriorated.