Fuller Goldsmith, a child prodigy who gained fame as a celebrity chef, has died. He was just 17 years old.
The Tuscaloosa teenager conquered cancer a number of times in his young life but succumbed to the disease on Tuesday, just a few days before his 18th birthday.
A popular figure on the Alabama culinary scene, Goldsmith rose to fame when he won an episode of Food Network’s Chopped Junior at the age of 13.
Goldsmith donated the $10,000 prize to the Children’s of Alabama hospital at the time.
The news of Goldsmith’s passing was confirmed on Facebook by Robert C. Holt, whose son Justin Holt owns and operates the Southern Ale House restaurant where the teen worked as an assistant to the chef.
Holt said everyone who worked at the restaurant was “heartbroken.”
“Our collective hearts are broken. The SAH family lost our much loved and respected Fuller Goldsmith today. Fuller fought the good fight all his life. From age four until the last few days of 17 years, Fuller fought a courageous fight against cancer,” Hold wrote.
He continued in his tribute to the young chef: “Fuller lived to create delicious dishes and became the little brother to big brother Brett Garner our Executive Chef. He spent a lot of time in the SAH kitchen helping prep, serve, and create recipes. We will miss his presence, his smile, his laugh, his banter back and forth with Brett, and his grit as fought the aches and pains of a terrible disease.
“He will be missed but forever remembered. His spirit will remain in SAH for the remainder of time. To his family our love and compassion with a huge thank you for sharing Fuller with all of us. He made all of us better people.”
From the age of three, Goldsmith received treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
In 2019, he participated in immunotherapy clinical trials at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Goldsmith met his idol Guy Fieri at Guy’s Stagecoach Smokehouse in 2018. Fieri praised the young chef’s talent and ambition.
“What you’ve already accomplished in your life is amazing, and the example that you’re setting for other kids is amazing,” Fieri said, per Entertainment Weekly.
“Cancer is a very difficult thing—I’ve had a lot of family members go through it, a lot of friends go through it and I’ll tell you, you’ve got to believe, you’ve gotta trust, you gotta go, you gotta fight hard and it’s not easy—it’s not easy at all.”