Guy Fieri is paying tribute to Chopped Junior winner and former Top Chef Junior star Fuller Goldsmith following his death earlier this week. After news broke that the young chef passed away on Tuesday at the age of 17 following a battle with cancer, the Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives host joined his fellow chefs in taking a moment to remember Goldsmith.
In a post shared on social media, Fieri reflected on the massive impact Goldsmith made in his short life. Sharing a photo of himself and the young talent, the restauranter wrote, “what Fuller accomplished in his life and the example he set for people battling cancer was remarkable.”
He ended the emotional tribute with, “RIP Fuller Goldsmith.” Goldsmith had been a superfan of Fieri, who in 2018 surprised the teen at Stagecoach Music Festival in 2018.
Goldsmith appeared on Chopped Junior in 2017 when he was just 14. After winning the $10,000 prize, which he donated to the Division of Hematology and Pediatric Oncology at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, he went on to appear on the first season of Top Chef Junior that same year.
On Tuesday, Oct. 6, Goldsmith passed away just days before his 18th birthday following a long battle with leukemia. The young talent had first been diagnosed with the disease when he was just 3-years-old. In February of this year, he shared with his fans that his cancer had returned for the fifth time.
“Unfortunately the news regarding the tumor was not what I was hoping,” he wrote. “The same Leukemia is back. The plan is to start proton radiation at UAB as soon as I can….hopefully within the next two weeks. I will have 12 days of radiation and then more chemo to make sure it’s gone once and for all. Round 5- I’m ready to fight!”
In the wake of his passing, celebrities, friends and former competitors have flocked to social media to remember the teen, with Top Chef Junior host Vanessa Lachey writing, “we all Loved Fuller so much! And will never forget his contagious smile, laugh, and butter tricks.” Top Chef season 16 winner Kelsey Barnard Clark remembered Goldsmith as “a remarkable soul that touched so many.”
In the years since his appearances on Chopped Junior and Top Chef Junior, Fuller worked as an assistant chef at the Southern Ale House in Tuscaloosa, Alabama “helping prep, serve and create recipes,” according to the restaurant’s Facebook tribute, which added that Goldsmith “lived to create delicious dishes.”