A teen chef who aspires to be a world-class baker suffers from a most unfortunate condition for any cook – she cannot consume food or drink.
Lynlee Stout, 17, has a rare condition which means she cannot keep food or water down, and has to be fed through a tube that enters her stomach by a re-sealable hole above her belly button.
Yet the teenager dreams of becoming a pastry chef, despite the fact she is unable to taste the food she cooks. And she continues to cook – selling her food to pay for a dream trip to France.
Lynlee told the New Zealand Herald: “Sometimes when I’m baking, I try a bite, to make sure the taste is all right, and run off to the toilet because it makes me sick.
“It does get hard. You really want to taste it to make sure it tastes fine or see if it needs something else.”
The high school student sells her range of chocolate, ginger and rice bubble delights at lunchtime for one dollar a slice, and they have become so popular that classmates make special orders.
So far she has raised $200 from sales, but her aims are much higher.
She hopes to raise $3,000 by next April, and travel to France on a food tour with Massey High School hospitality academy.
Originally diagnosed with an eating disorder in 2009, an unconvinced Lynlee spent six months urging doctors to reconsider their initial diagnosis.
She said: “Everything I ate or drank didn’t stay down. So when I told them I couldn’t keep my food down they instantly took that as I made myself sick.
“I think the doctors were frustrated because they didn’t know what was going on. They were trying to get me to eat stuff, but they didn’t understand.
“We had every test done that they could think of that would hopefully link something to my condition. But they haven’t been able to diagnose it.”
Lynlee is currently waiting for an operation that will hopefully enable her to eat when she visits France.
“I’m kind of hoping a miracle will happen,” she said.
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