Remembering Fuller: Teen passionate about cooking, life
Doing this job, we meet incredible people every day who make our community such a nice place to call home. This is one of those sad times when we have to say goodbye to a remarkable young person.
You may have heard his story right here on WVUA 23 News, or even in national spotlights like on the Food Network or Bravo channel. If you’ve met this young man, chances are he blessed you with a fuller belly and fuller heart.
“It means a lot to me donate to Children’s because they pretty much gave me my life,” Tuscaloosa native Fuller Goldsmith said just after winning in an episode of Food Network’s “Chopped Junior” back in 2017. He donated a portion of his winnings to Children’s Hospital of Alabama, where he was treated for childhood leukemia.
“I just want to give back now,” Goldsmith told WVUA 23 after his donation.
Fuller beat cancer four times, beginning when he was just 4. On Tuesday, he died from the disease at 17, days before his 18th birthday.
“His memory and his presence are never going anywhere,” Southern Ale House Executive Chef Brett Garner said after Goldsmith’s passing. “He will always be there, and our goal is to make sure that we do him justice”
Goldsmith was a staple at Garner’s restaurant on McFarland Boulevard in Tuscaloosa. The two often worked alongside each other.
“He had a greater desire for other people to see his fight go through successfully, than for anyone to walk up and say poor pitiful Fuller or ask him a thousand times how he’s doing,” Garner said. “He craved the normalcy and he wanted people and kids and everyone around him to know that everything he had worked through and everything he sacrificed was worth something”
Garner said Goldsmith was like a sponge in the kitchen, soaking up every combination, trick and recipe tweak in the book. But as much as he enjoyed teaching the young chef over the years, it’s what he learned from Fuller that he’ll treasure most.
“A lot of the stuff we went over was beyond food,” Garner said. “Food is the easy solution, the easy answer. The friendship, the family, and the brotherhood that grew from it, that was the best part of it. Fuller, man, I love you. I’ll miss you, obviously everyone’s going to miss you. You meant more to me, my family, and this community than you will ever know. This is a pause, and this is a wait, but I’ll see you again and we still have a couple more dishes to cook together, so I’ll see you soon.”
In honor of Fuller’s passion for cooking, donations can be made to the foundation created in his name, Fuller’s Fund, to send a young chef to culinary school and continue Fuller’s legacy.
Donations can be made to P.O. Box 2347, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403 or on Venmo @fullersfund.