Chopped Junior winner Fuller Goldsman has died after fighting a long battle with cancer at 17.

Hailing from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Goldsman entered Chopped Junior when he was in the seventh grade and won the competition. He used his prize of $10,000 towards a donation to Birmingham’s Children of Alabama hospital to help other pediatric patients and their families.

Goldsman was a contestant on Top Chef Junior when he was 13 but had to leave the competition due to his illness.

Fuller’s battle with cancer started at the age of 3. He was in and out of remission for years and went through multiple years of chemotherapy, spinal surgery and a bone marrow transplant.

The production company, Magic Elves, paid tribute to the Top Chef Junior contestant with an Instagram post on Wednesday.

“We are devastated after hearing about the loss of our Top Chef Junior alum Fuller Goldsman,” the company wrote. “He was an incredible chef and the strongest kid we’ve ever met… To his family, we give all our love as they mourn the loss of someone truly special.”

Food Network shared its own statement on Wednesday. “We were devastated to learn of Fuller Goldsman’s passing,” it wrote. “Our hearts go out to Fuller’s family and friends as they mourn the loss of a phenomenal young man.”

Goldsman grew an interest in cooking when he watched Food Network star Guy Fieri and his shows, Diners-Drive-Ins-and Dives and Guy’s Big Bite. Fieri’s shows were Goldsman’s “therapy” from his harsh reality.

He got the chance to meet Fieri at the Stagecoach Festival in 2018. The two struck up a conversation and even had the chance to prepare burritos together for Ashton Kutcher.

Goldsman had aspirations to attend culinary school and open a fine dining restaurant. During the pandemic, he worked with Southern Ale House in his hometown to brainstorm new recipes and continue working with food.

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