Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
/ Source: TODAY
By Erica Chayes Wida

Fuller Goldsmith, a 14-year-old aspiring chef, defeated dozens of competitors to win "Chopped Junior."

But that was nothing compared to the battle he faced before the cameras started rolling. Fuller is a three-time cancer survivor who is determined to bring his unique culinary style to the world one day.

While attending the Stagecoach Music Festival last month, Fuller got a special surprise from his culinary idol, Guy Fieri, who turned out to be equally inspired by the teen chef's story.

Fuller, who is from Alabama, went to Palm Springs, California, to supposedly tag along on his father's business trip.

But the whole thing was just a ruse to get him face-to-face with Fieri so they could cook up some barbecue, burritos and and enjoy a moving conversation at Guy's Stagecoach Smokehouse.

Entertainment Weekly filmed the young cook meeting his favorite celebrity chef, who he watched from hospital beds after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at just 3-years-old. As Fuller braved three years of chemotherapy, spinal surgery and a bone marrow transplant while going in and out of remission, cooking, he said (and watching Food Network shows like "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" and "Guy's Grocery Games") became like therapy.

Determined to pursue a career in the kitchen, Fuller won "Chopped Junior" in April 2017 and competed in Universal Kids' "Top Chef Junior," until he had to take leave for medical reasons.

"You're a warrior," Fieri told Fuller after learning of his long battle with cancer, as well as his triumphs during cooking competitions.

"What you've already accomplished in your life is amazing, and the example that you're setting for other kids is amazing," said Fieri, who has used his cooking skills to help other chefs and aid first responders and victims of the California forest fires. "Most people don't go into competition 'cus they're scared. They don't want to look stupid or fail. But if you don't try, you don't win. You gotta fight for the opportunity ... You're a big shot. You're a good dude."

Fuller got to joke around with his favorite chef over lunch and even got some of his long-awaited questions answered (Fieri's favorite thing to smoke is actually turkey pastrami — the more you know!). The two worked up an appetite before hitting the burrito station where Fuller got to whip up some signature grub for Ashton Kutcher.

He gave Kutcher the option of buffalo, ostrich or wildebeest meat with a Thai curry, sweet Asian or Mexican ranchero sauce. The burrito wasn't decorated like the actor's "Paw Patrol" pancakes, but it looked absolutely delicious!