Watch This Chopped Jr. Star Meet His Hero, Guy Fieri

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(Image credit: Photo: Food Network; Design: Kitchn)

Fuller Goldsmith is just 14 years old, and he’s already a seasoned TV chef. He won Chopped Jr. in 2017, and he competed on Top Chef Jr. this year before having to withdraw halfway through the season, and he says he was inspired to become a competitive chef by his hero, Guy Fieri.

Now, after years of fandom, Fuller got to meet his idol in person at a California barbecue festival, and the scene was so touching it will probably make you cry.

Fuller was first diagnosed with cancer when he was just three years old, and he’s battled and beaten it three times since then. He got interested in cooking because he watched Guy Fieri on the Food Network while he was in the hospital and described the chef’s shows as a “kind of therapy” for him.

Last month, Entertainment Weekly took Fuller to the Stagecoach Festival in California, ostensibly to talk about barbecue. But Fuller was in for a surprise, because Guy Fieri was running the Guy’s Stagecoach Smokehouse pavilion at the barbecue festival, and Fuller was actually being brought out to meet his hero.

Fuller was surprisingly calm about the meeting, but he’s an old pro at appearing on television. When they asked if he had any questions for Fieri, he impressed everyone with some really good ones. First, he asked Fieri if he really drove from place to place on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and got the chef to admit that he actually does not. Fieri joked around a bunch, then revealed that he actually flies from place to place, and the show has a guy with a truck whose job it is to transport the car from location to location so Fieri can be filmed driving it.

Fieri didn’t seem to know about Fuller’s history with cancer, and he looked like he was about to tear up behind those dark glasses when he heard about it. He told Fuller his sister had cancer, and he knows how hard it is to fight cancer.

“What you’ve already accomplished in your life is amazing,” Fieri told him, “and the example that you’re setting for other kids is amazing.”

Fieri praised Fuller both for fighting cancer, and for being brave enough to compete in TV cooking competitions. Fieri said a lot of people don’t enter competitions because they’re afraid of losing or looking stupid, and that it takes a lot of guts to put oneself out there like Fuller has done.

Fuller has had a lot of success in cooking competitions, too. He told Fieri that he didn’t win Top Chef Jr. because he had to go home because he was getting sick. But he did win Chopped Jr., and he even donated his $10,000 prize to Children’s of Alabama hospital, to help other kids with cancer.

After some more encouraging words, Fieri took Fuller to his pavilion so they could cook together, and they actually wound up making a burrito for Ashton Kutcher.

Fuller got a hands-on lesson in burrito-rolling from his idol, and he even got to call out Fieri’s favorite sign-off at the end, “Winner winner chicken dinner!”

I can’t wait to see this kid with a cooking show of his own in a few years.