Fuller Goldsmith, 'Chopped Junior' Winner, Dead at 17
By Paige Gawley
Dale Berman/Universal Kids/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images
Fuller Goldsmith has died. The Chopped Junior winner and Top Chef Junior competitor died after a 13-year battle with cancer, production company Magical Elves announced Wednesday on Instagram. He was 17.
"We are devastated after hearing about the loss of our Top Chef Junior alum, Fuller Goldsmith. He was an incredible chef and the strongest kid we've ever met," the post read. "From the minute he was introduced to us, we knew he would make an impact on everyone around him and be a positive force in cooking world. To his family, we give all our love as they mourn the loss of someone truly special."
Vanessa Lachey, who hosted Top Chef Junior, commented on the post, writing, "We all Loved Fuller so much! And will never forget his contagious smile, laugh and butter tricks. Sending so much Love to his family. We will never forget you Fuller!"
Gail Simmons, a judge on the competition series, also wrote about Goldsmith in the comment section.
"We love you Fuller. Thank you for spending so much time with us. Your love of cooking was contagious and you taught us so much about courage and determination," she posted. "You are loved and missed, and forever in our hearts."
Goldsmith won Chopped Junior in 2017. He went on to compete on Top Chef Junior later that year, but withdrew from the competition to focus on his health.
He later began working at Southern Ale House in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Robert C. Holt, who has ties to the restaurant and Goldsmith's family, wrote a Facebook tribute to the late teen.
"Our collective hearts are broken. The SAH family lost our much loved and respected Fuller Goldsmith today," Holt's message reads. "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."
"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," he continued. "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."
Holt concluded, "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."
In February, Goldsmith announced on Instagram that his Leukemia had returned for a fifth time, writing, "Round 5 -- I'm ready to fight!"