Tuscaloosa teen wins “Chopped Junior” following battle with leukemia

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Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — A Tuscaloosa teenager was just crowned champion of a national cooking show this week.

Fuller Goldsmith won grand prize on the Food Network show, “Chopped Junior” The 13-year-old may not be a master chef just yet, but he knows his way around the kitchen.

“I like cooking wings and ribs,” Fuller said.

While some kids his age might be on the ball field, the grill is where Goldsmith has all the fun.

“It’s awesome. I love making people happy with my food,” Goldsmith said.

The wise 7th grader will tell you that food may be what changed his life.

“When I was three I was diagnosed with leukemia cancer,” said Goldsmith.

Goldsmith trusted his doctors had all the right ingredients to help him on his fight. While he battled, he developed his skills.

“Cooking was probably the only thing that got me out of the hospital bed, off the couch,” said Goldsmith

Cooking through the pain was just one portion of his recipe for success. After years of practicing his culinary skills on nurses at the hospital, he saw a new opportunity with the television show.

“When “Chopped Junior” came out, I told my mom, one day I’m going to be on that show,” Goldsmith said.

This year, he got the news that he’d been chosen for the show. Goldsmith already plans his family’s meals and does the cooking.

His new challenge required winning over celebrity judges with only a few supplies.

“I was pretty nervous the first round, but then once I saw they liked my food, I was like, ‘I got this.’”

Watching the television show it was clear that Goldsmith has no fear. His dishes couldn’t have been any more pleasing to the picky pallets.

For the win, Goldsmith received a $10,000 check. He’s decided the money is better off with Children’s of Alabama

“People gave back to me, so it’s time for me to give back to them,” said Goldsmith

Goldsmith is now in remission and waiting on his championship apron. The plans he has cooking should have everyone in Tuscaloosa chomping at the bit.

“I want to go to the Culinary Institute for America in New York and study there and come back to Tuscaloosa and open my own restaurant,” Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith told CBS 42 he plans to call his restaurant, “Fuller’s Kitchen.”

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