Dr Hector Perera London
I was living in a room only boarding house near Punchi Borella, not too from The All Saints Church when I had to study for Science Advanced Level. Then I had to depend on hotel takeaways than cooking. At the start I had to cycle or walk all the way to hotels to bring in or eat in hotels. Even when it rains, I had to get something to eat from hotels because I didn’t cook anything at the start, not because I didn’t know basic cooking but I didn’t start until a little later. For one reason or the other, I didn’t like those kinds of food and one of the reasons is that maybe they are not quite hygienic. Who knows if the chefs washed the vegetables properly to get rid of some mud, sand, fertilizers sticking on to them, also there could have been pesticides on them. Have you seen “mukunuwenna” sold near Kelani Bridge? They were grown just near the bridge at an area called Orugoda watta. That area usually get flooded and all the mud, sludge and all other dirty water covers these plants from time to time. There are open sewage from the shanty areas that means “night soil” around that area and oils spilling from garages as well. That was in Sri Lanka how about this story in London. Thames Water has been fined a record £20m after pumping nearly 1.5 billion litres of untreated sewage into the River Thames. Water for household uses are mainly from river Thames but there is pollution from raw sewage. If I describe any more, one might lose the taste of those very healthy “mukunuwenna”, so let me cut it off here.
My cooking was no better than “kussi amma” at the start
Then I tried to cook something at the boarding house and by trial and error I found the way to cook simple things such as rice and curries. There was no technique, just added some spices to things such as chicken and fish and cooked on a kerosene cooker. A man on a bullock cart home delivered kerosene oil just for one rupee a gallon. Those days there were no liquid petroleum gas cookers or LPG at our place. Those days most people depended on firewood stoves for cooking. This is a still a very common method in remote villages in Sri Lanka and those kerosene cookers also have disappeared. This is how I started my cooking but now I have improved and found a scientific energy and smell saving method of cooking by sheer chance. Fortunately I had the company of three other friends in the boarding house to share these works. I must say they all got through to medicine and I didn’t get into anywhere near other than passing two subjects in Advanced level. When I found a teaching post in the same private college we studied, I found the way to come over to England for further studies then only I discovered how to cook and save energy.
Many inventions have been made by sheer accident and my discovery was no better
Sir Isaac Newton -- The Discoverer of Gravity! Sir Isaac Newton was an English mathematician and mathematician and physicist who lived from 1642-1727. The legend is that Newton discovered Gravity when he saw a falling apple while thinking about the forces of nature. To begin with he didn’t do any research in a laboratory but sat under an apple tree during the summer then an apple fell on his head then only he discovered the theory of gravity again by sheer accident.
Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming’ returning from holiday on September 3, 1928, Fleming began to sort through petri dishes containing colonies of Staphylococcus, bacteria that cause boils, sore throats and abscesses. He noticed something unusual on one dish. It was dotted with colonies, save for one area where a blob of mould was growing. The zone immediately around the mould—later identified as a rare strain of Penicillium notatum was clear, as if the mould had secreted something that inhibited bacterial growth.
Archimedes ran fully naked on his discovery
Archimedes was born in Syracuse on the eastern coast of Sicily and educated in Alexandria in Egypt. He then returned to Syracuse, where he spent most of the rest of his life, devoting his time to research and experimentation in many fields.
The King of Syracuse wanted to check if the crown was made out of pure gold so he contacted the famous Archimedes. He knew that he is not allowed to break the crown to find out if any cheap metals are added. He was taken with this problem, day and night he was thinking very hard to solve it. Even while he had a bath he was thinking about the problem. Then one day, as he got into a bath tub full of water, he realised, the weight of a body immersed in a liquid, called after him as “Archimedes’ Principle that a body immersed in a fluid is subject to an upward force (buoyancy) equal in magnitude to the weight of fluid is displaces. He was so excited with his discovery that he hopped out of the bath and rushed naked into the street yelling triumphantly, “Eureka, Eureka!” that means, “I found it”.
Galileo was imprisoned for his invention
Galileo Galilei was charged with heresy because of his Copernican heliocentric writings, which claimed that the Earth revolved around the sun and not vice-versa. During the 15th century, the Catholic Church used Biblical passages to maintain that the Earth was a fixed body at the centre of the universe.
Galileo was first accused of heresy in 1613, when he wrote a letter to a student defending the Copernican theory that the Earth revolves around the sun. Research and telescopic observations had convinced him that Copernicus's ideas did not contradict the Bible. He explained that the Biblical passages in question were written from the perspective of Earth and could not be taken literally. Officials of the Roman Inquisition declared that Copernican beliefs were heretical and ordered Galileo not to defend them either orally or in writing.
Galileo was ordered to turn himself in to the Holy Office to begin trial for holding the belief that the Earth revolves around the Sun, which was deemed heretical by the Catholic Church. Standard practice demanded that the accused be imprisoned and secluded during the trial. Now the people respect even by naming the long distance flying objects under his name, never mind they realised much later.
Study, sleep and cook in one room
When I came to England I had to study, sleep and cook in a single room unlike in Sri Lanka. Back home I was fortunate to see that my mum had a seven bedroomed detached house in two acres of coconut land but in England I had to start in a single room. When I discovered scientific method of saving 60% energy and stopping cooking aroma depositing while cooking, I didn’t run naked on the streets to yell at the people but contacted The Sustainable Energy Authority and The Invention Commission in Sri Lanka. A whole team of them visited our apartment in Colombo to investigate my claim and they approved the technique. That was no ordinary cooking but application of science in cooking. The Invention Commission even filmed my cooking demonstration and added to their official web site and it is still found under Google search under my name. Fortunately, the day after the work was demonstrated to The Sustainable Energy Authority, I was invited to a live cooking demonstration by Sirasa TV authorities. Even though my work was approved there was no certificate to show the TV authorities because it was just on the previous day I demonstrated the work to the energy authorities. I got my certificate a few days later.
Have my doubts if any British TV chef can cook like me
Dr Hector Perera