May 20, 2024

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Eat Your Food

Fuller Goldsmith, Food Network Champion Chef, Dead At Age 17

Cooking wiz Fuller Goldsmith, who won the Food Network’s “Chopped Junior” chef competition, died Tuesday after nearly a lifetime battle with leukemia. He was 17.

“He got tired and was ready to go,” his father, Scott Goldsmith, told Alabama’s CBS 42 in Tuscaloosa, where Fuller lived.

Goldsmith, who also appeared on “Top Chef Junior,” was hailed by that show’s production company Magical Elves as “an incredible chef and the strongest kid we’ve ever met.”

“We all Loved Fuller so much! And will never forget his contagious smile, laugh and butter tricks,” “Top Chef Junior” host Vanessa Lachey added in the comments.

In 2017, Goldsmith won “Chopped Junior,” a competition in which young chefs make impromptu dishes out of mismatched ingredients. Many of his creations played to his strength ― Southern cuisine, according to CBS 42. He donated his $10,000 prize to the Division of Hematology and Pediatric Oncology at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the New York Post reported.

Goldsmith was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he was 3.

“When I was sick, cooking was the only thing that got me up,” he told Tuscaloosa magazine in 2017. “If I was just laying down doing nothing, my feet and legs would hurt, but when I was moving around in the kitchen, I wouldn’t be hurting as much.”

Goldsmith attended school at the Tuscaloosa Academy and worked at the Southern Ale House in Tuscaloosa “helping prep, serve and create recipes,” the restaurant noted in a Facebook remembrance. “Our collective hearts are broken … “Fuller lived to create delicious dishes.”

Goldsmith alerted fans on Instagram in February that his leukemia had returned.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.