On Chopped Junior, 13-year-old Fuller Goldsmith of Tuscaloosa, Ala., brought his southern roots and his passion for cooking to the judges table. With okra as a main ingredient in the frying-themed competition, judge Zachary Quinto was a tough customer, commenting on how he hadn’t eaten okra since his mom made him eat the slimy stuff as a kid. But Fuller’s beer-battered catfish and fried okra over greens was out of this world and won the Star Trek star over. Quinto said, “You know, that’s a real piece of okra there that I ate, and I actually liked it.”
Fuller went on to impress the judges with all of his cooking, and their praise might have meant more to him than to the average kid. When Fuller was diagnosed with leukemia, Chopped Junior was something he would watch that would inspire him to get up and cook. Ted Allen said, “You must be proud to be here.” And Fuller agreed.
Although Fuller was still being treated for his illness with steroids that cause swelling, his leukemia was in remission, so he was able to put his all into the competition. In the end, Fuller’s cooking won the judge’s over, and he couldn’t have been happier.
Chopped Junior airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the Food Network.
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