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Teen with dwarfism says he was barred from a cooking class. Gordon Ramsey stepped in

Louis Makepeace says officials at the Heart of Worcestershire College in the United Kingdom barred him from taking a cooking class because his dwarfism was a “safety risk.” Gordon Ramsey called it “disgusting.”
Louis Makepeace says officials at the Heart of Worcestershire College in the United Kingdom barred him from taking a cooking class because his dwarfism was a “safety risk.” Gordon Ramsey called it “disgusting.” Screenshot from Louis Makepeace's YouTube

Louis Makepeace, an aspiring chef, said he had his “heart set” on taking a cooking class at the Heart of Worcestershire College in Redditch, England.

But the 18-year-old, who has a type of dwarfism called achondroplasia, said the school barred him from taking the course because they said his height makes him a “safety risk” and potential “disruption,” according to a Southwest News Service (SWNS) story posted on The Independent.

The experience left Makepeace “appalled,” he reportedly told BBC.

“It really has dented my confidence,” the teen told the SWNS, according to The Independent. “How am I ever supposed to get the culinary skills that are going to get me a job in a catering environment?”

Now Gordon Ramsey, popular TV chef on shows like “Hell’s Kitchen,” has spoken up for Makepeace in a tweet.

He called the college’s actions “disgusting” and hinted at a potential opportunity for the teen.

In a statement to People Magazine, a representative from the college pushed back against Makepeace’s side of the story. They said the college was just trying to make sure the teen has “all the appropriate adjustments to the kitchens that Louis needs to allow him to safely and successfully commence his course.”

“We would like to state that at no point has Louis been told he could not attend his course,” the statement to People reads, “but both Louis and Mrs. Makepeace have been informed that the adjustments Louis requires will need to be agreed before an unconditional offer can be given.”

BBC reports that as Makepeace watches the drama unfold, he said, “I’m not sure I would want to study at the college now,” even if they allow him to take the class.

“They’ve messed me about and dragged it out for too long,” he said, according to BBC. “I still want to cook and one day open my own cafe or restaurant.

“I’m excited by Gordon Ramsey’s offer on Twitter,” he reportedly added to the outlet. “Let’s see what happens.”

The Okenfuss family lives in Sacramento's Land Park neighborhood. Their sons, Hai and Jude, have distinguished themselves as talented athletes both in local leagues and at the World Dwarf Games.

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