A young chef whose dreams were cut short savors every last minute as she explores food and adventure, illness and mortality in Savor, a stunning, lyrical memoir and family story that sweeps from Pakistan to New York City and beyond.

“Ali’s strength and passion for food and her culture shines through. . . . This memoir is a tribute to the extraordinary life and impact she made in twenty-nine years.”—Oprah Daily (20 of the Best Fall Nonfiction Books of 2022)

Fatima Ali won the hearts of viewers as the Fan Favorite of Bravo’s Top Chef in season fifteen. Twenty-nine years old, she was a dynamic, boundary-breaking chef and a bright new voice for change in the food world. After the taping wrapped and before the show aired, Fati was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. Not one to ever slow down or admit defeat, the star chef vowed to spend her final year traveling the world, eating delicious food, and making memories with her loved ones. But when her condition abruptly worsened, her plans were sidelined. She pivoted, determined to make her final days count as she worked to tell the story of a brown girl chef who set out to make a name for herself, her food, and her culture. 

Including writing from Fatima during her last months and contributions by her mother, Farezeh, and her collaborator, Tarajia Morrell, Savor is a deftly woven account and an inspiring ode to the food, family, and countries Fatima loved so much. Alternating between past and present, readers are transported back to Pakistan and the childhoods of both Fatima and Farezeh, each deeply affected by cultural barriers that shaped the course of their lives. From the rustic stalls of the outdoor markets of Karachi to the kitchen and dining room of Meadowood, the acclaimed three-star Michelin restaurant where she apprenticed, Fati reflects on her life and her identity as a chef, a daughter, and a queer woman butting up against traditional views. 

Savor is a triumphant memoir, at once an exploration of the sense of wonder that made Fatima so special and a shining testament to the resilience of the human spirit. At its core, it is a story about what it means to truly live, a profound and exquisite portrait of savoring every moment.
“Ali’s narrative extends beyond her life experiences to include her mother Farezeh’s story, which begins in Karachi, Pakistan. Chapters are written from both women’s perspectives and are skillfully stitched together by writer Tarajia Morrell, who came onto the project to document Ali’s final bucket-list year before everyone soon realized, tragically, that there would be no time for that. Instead, Savor explores the ways identity often butts up against tradition and what it means to savor life despite everything.”Eater (“Fall’s 10 Essential Food Reads”)

“With her own stories and entries from mother Farezeh and coauthor Tarajia Morrell, Ali’s strength and passion for food and her culture shines through. Ali passed away in 2019 from bone cancer, and this memoir is a tribute to the extraordinary life and impact she made in 29 years.”Oprah Daily (“20 of the Best Fall Nonfiction Books of 2022”)

“An exceptional account of the life of an exceptional woman, so talented and gone too soon. Savor is moving, heartbreaking, and defiantly hopeful.”—Mohsin Hamid, New York Times bestselling author of The Last White Man and Exit West

“James Beard Award–winning chef Ali delivers a powerful ode to family and food in her posthumous memoir. . . . Ali writes with an irresistible passion for food, friendship, and community, and contributions by [her mother] beautifully complement Ali’s account. This portrait of a remarkable talent whose life was cut short is a tough one to forget.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This book shines with the author’s irrepressible spirit, positivity, and tenacity. . . . Her love of food and people and belief in the future are evident throughout the text. Perhaps most striking are her determination and work ethic, as she recounts starting out as a chef working 16-hour days, seven days per week. In her battle with cancer, she displayed unwavering toughness and determination. Ali’s adoration of the art of cooking is apparent, infectious, and often moving. Ali’s irrepressible love of cooking will not just inspire a love of food, but a love of life.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)