Tuscaloosa’s Teen Chef Fuller Goldsmith Beats Cancer Again
A Tuscaloosa resident and former winner of the Food Network's Chopped Junior is back in the kitchen after winning his fourth battle with cancer. In a recent profile with Seattle Children's Hospital, 16-year-old Fuller Goldsmith said that he was back doing the thing he loves the most — cooking.
The road back to the kitchen has not been an easy one as Goldsmith had to battle cancer four different times since he was first diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at the age of three.
"Its been years, I remember that we have been dealing with it since he was three," Scott Goldsmith, father of Fuller said. "So you know 13 years, in the latest round he relapsed in November 2018 after having a bone marrow transplant and it is unusual to relapse after several years of bone marrow transplants."
This time, the cancer returned in Fuller Goldsmith's spine and Scott Goldsmith said that "pretty much the only option" was to try Pediatric Leukemia Adoptive Therapy, a clinical trial that was being offered at Seattle's Children's Hospital. Throughout the trial, Fuller kept up with his passion by watching cooking shows from his hospital bed.
"He didn't really care about watching Nickelodeon and those sort of things while he was in the hospital or at home and couldn't do a lot so he started watching cooking shows," Scott Goldsmith said. "Pretty much any cooking show that was on television, he was watching. He has a unique ability to remember cooking things that he sees on TV."
Once Fuller Goldsmith had an idea for a recipe, Scott Goldsmith recalls that his son would just start experimenting with food. That passion drove him to apply to be on Food Network's Chopped Junior, a competitive cooking show he eventually won back in 2018.
Days after the show aired, Scott Goldsmith said that they received a few calls from the producers of Top Chef Junior and soon after, the family was in California as Fuller was featured on the show and continued to stave off elimination as the competition whittled down from 25 contestants to 12.
"That was a weekly show where they eliminated one [contestant] a week so it was 12 to 13 weeks of filming," Scott Goldsmith said. "Unfortunately while we were out there, he got sick and we had to come home. He had to pull himself off the show."
Following his recovery, Fuller Goldsmith had the chance to go back to California to be a guest judge on one of the episodes of Season Two of Top Chef Junior. He also got to meet one of his celebrity chef idols, Guy Fieri.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Fuller was working closely with the head chef at Southern Ale House where he continued to hone his craft.
"He's taken on us on an adventure for sure," Scott Goldsmith said.
To keep up with Fuller follow along on his Instagram.