Royal Society holds gourmet food event to celebrate top 20 food and drink inventions

01 October 2012 by
Royal Society holds gourmet food event to celebrate top 20 food and drink inventions

The Royal Society has announced plans to disprove Giles Coren's theory that "cone-headed boffins" cannot cook by holding a gourmet food event to celebrate the 20 greatest inventions in the history of food and drink.

The list - featuring refrigeration, pasteurisation and canning in the top three spots - was revealed by the Royal Society earlier this month, but The Times restaurant critic Coren responded with scorn.

He branded the society as "cone-headed boffins… who eat standing up from a plastic Pot Noodle bucket watching reruns of Only Connect".

The Royal Society's response is to work with contract caterer Harbour & Jones to host an event on 16 October where it will attempt to disprove Coren's theory and also celebrate the inventions in the list.

Commenting on the event, Royal Society treasurer Sir Peter Williams, who chaired the judging panel, said: "Royal Society Fellows have played vital roles in improving people's lives for 350 years and science has a major role to play in meeting the global challenges of the 21st century.

"Now, somewhat unexpectedly it had been suggested that we cannot cook. On the evening of 16 October everyone will be able to see if this is true."

The Top 20 inventions:

1 Refrigeration
2 Pasteurisation/sterilisation
3 Canning
4 The oven
5 Irrigation
6 Threshing machine/combine harvester
7 Baking
8 Selective breeding/strains
9 Grinding/milling
10 The plough
11 Fermentation
12 The fishing net
13 Crop rotation
14 The pot
15 The knife
16 Eating utensils
17 The cork
18 The barrel
19 The microwave oven
20 Frying

By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

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