Food Network ‘Chopped Junior’ winner Fuller Goldsmith to cook at Pepper Place Saturday

Food Network ‘Chopped Junior’ winner Fuller Goldsmith to cook at Pepper Place Saturday
Fuller Goldsmith will be cooking at the Market at Pepper Place on May 27. (Karim Shamsi-Basha / Alabama NewsCenter)

Fuller Goldsmith is one of the best young chefs in the country.

He won Food Network’s “Chopped Junior” in April.

He raised lots of money for Children’s of Alabama Hospital.

He is 13 years old.

One more thing: Fuller Goldsmith has leukemia.

Chopped Junior winner Fuller Goldsmith to cook at Pepper Place from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

When I walked into his family’s Tuscaloosa home Wednesday, Goldsmith was seated on the couch wearing his “Chopped Junior” apron. In the kitchen, he began chopping vegetables and resembled any chef I have interviewed, including the tucking of fingers while chopping. When I asked him why he likes cooking, his eyes lit up.

“Because I can make something out of just stuff,” Goldsmith said.

Have I mentioned that Fuller is a teenager? I pushed a little more.

“I don’t think about my disease when I am cooking,” Goldsmith said. “I have my ups and downs with leukemia, but cooking helps a lot when I don’t feel good.”

Goldsmith was selected by the Food Network to be on the popular show “Chopped Junior” and ended up winning the $10,000 grand prize.

“For the appetizer round of Chopped, I made beer-battered catfish and okra over greens with a sour cream sauce,’’ he said. “For the second round, main course, I made chicken tenders with pimiento cheese, cauliflower and roasted asparagus, and for dessert I made beignets with powdered sugar and raspberry walnut ice cream.”

Goldsmith donated a portion of his prize money to Children’s Hospital.

“I gave some of my ‘Chopped Junior’ winnings to Children’s Hospital because they pretty much gave me my life, so I wanted to help other kids get theirs,” he said.

Winning Chopped Junior opened many doors for Goldsmith.

“It was great to see the Food Network studios and just the Chopped kitchen was awesome. I got to see all the places where they film my favorite Food Network shows,” he said.

This Saturday, Goldsmith will demonstrate his skills with Andrea Snyder, owner of Urban Cookhouse restaurants, at the Market at Pepper Place at 9 a.m. He will make a chicken spring roll to dip in the popular Urban Cookhouse white barbeque sauce.

For Snyder, teaming up with Goldsmith was easy. After opening the Tuscaloosa Urban Cookhouse location, she searched for a charity to benefit on its grand opening.  Fuller’s Fund was one of the best decisions she had ever made.

“I heard that Fuller loved our restaurant and that whenever he was at Children’s Hospital he would frequently request Urban Cookhouse for his meals,” Snyder said. “We were able to raise over $10,000 for his fund that is all given back to Children’s Hospital.”

One hundred percent of donations to the Fuller Fund support the Hope and Cope Program in the Division of Hematology and Pediatric Oncology at Children’s Hospital.

Goldsmith, whose leukemia is in remission, aims to one day open his own restaurant. He told me the motto with a sly smile.

“Why get full, when you can get Fuller?”

For information or to donate to Fuller’s Fund, click here.

Tune in to Alabama NewsCenter’s Facebook page on Saturday at 9 a.m. to watch Fuller Goldsmith and Andrea Snyder cook live from the Market at Pepper Place.

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