akandpa (Alan King)

akandpa (Alan King)

Having been interested in cooking from an early age, I often cooked at home as a child.  My first job was as a trainee chef at The Ritz Hotel in Central London. However, split shifts and unsocial working hours were not for me, so I left and took up office work. I entered a career in the Civil Service, where I worked until late 2008, when I took early retirement.  I now have the privilege of working on things that I enjoy. Food and its creation has remained a passion throughout my life and I have been writing about it for some years now, originally as a house reviewer for london-eating, I moved to foodepedia at its launch. I write under the akandpa name as it is more distinctive than Alan King – there are a lot of Alan King’s out there!

  • A Grilling We Will Go

    Sunday July 24th, 2011

    Alan King visits the recently refurbished Admiral Codrington to talk with Head Chef Fred Smith about his new menu featuring meat from award winning butcher Jack O’Shea. 

  • Sparkling Prosecco wines from Bisol

    Thursday July 21st, 2011

    Situated in Valdobbiadene in the Treviso province, northern Italy, Bisol process the grapes for their wines from 16 farms whose vineyards cover an area of over 45 hectares, all at an altitude of 250 to 300 metres. All of the Bisol Prosecco wines we tasted are elegant and excellent wines to have as an aperitif, as well as for drinking with desert, most would also work well in cocktails like Kir or Bellini.

  • Tasting chocolate at La Maison du Chocolat

    Wednesday July 20th, 2011

    Let’s face it, who’d turn down an invitation to taste chocolate at one of the premium chocolatiers in London? Alan King didn't and apart from getting a background to the history of the company, and the sourcing of the chocolate they use, the purpose of the tasting was to introduce La Maison du Chocolat’s summer, Chiberta, range of chocolates.

  • Jun Tanaka cooks up a storm with his Summer Seafood Barbecues

    Tuesday July 19th, 2011

    We’d arrived to a glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne, to sip before and during the demonstration, and pretty soon after Jun Tanaka was setting about the creation of five ‘simple’ dishes, in his words. And were they simple? Well, I’ll certainly try a few at home when the opportunity arises.

  • SOCIeTY Bar and Restaurant, Blackfriars, London

    Monday July 18th, 2011

    Opened recently SOCIeTY bar/restaurant has sharp contemporary decor, which they refer to it as ‘industrial elegance’. Although a little ‘off the beaten track’, it’s but a couple of minutes walk from Blackfriars station and City Thameslink. With great food and good atmosphere, this is absolutely a society that I'd be happy to drop into from time to time.

  • Banrock Station wines for summer drinking

    Sunday July 17th, 2011

    It seems that wines these days are getting stronger and some of you might be looking for lighter options for those summer afternoons. We’ve sampled three Banrock Station wines at 5.5% by volume and a fourth at 12%, and these might just suit a change of regime or be the right thing for that long summer afternoon garden party.

  • Terra Rossa olive oils

    Thursday July 14th, 2011

    Terra Rossa claim on their packaging that they choose ‘the best olives from the finest and oldest groves in the world dating back to biblical times.’ They also claim to blend them until the 'distinctive aroma and flavour’ are achieved. Each of the oils we tasted worked perfectly as dipping oils, that’s how we enjoyed them.

  • Laithwaites show off their Californian wines

    Thursday July 14th, 2011

    Laithwaites had invited media flunkies to a tasting of some of their Californian wines available to customers during the summer months. There were only fourteen wines, so this was a little more manageable than some tastings I've been to; wine tastings can be a little trying, for me at least, but there were several that I particularly liked.

  • Ocado stock Reflets de France products

    Thursday July 14th, 2011

    From this Bastille Day, i.e. today, Ocado will, we are told, become one of only a few retailers in the UK to sell the Reflets de France range from Carrefour. So if you’re a bit of a Francophile, and one of those among us who make regular trips to France to stock up on some authentic French produce (err, well and booze, of course) you might need to make that trip to Calais or Boulogne less often that you have in the past.

  • Caravaggio, Leadenhall Street, London

    Saturday July 9th, 2011

    There are a fair number of city restaurants that now occupy spaces previously created for financial institutions; Caravaggio in Leadenhall Street is one of them. The food was very good, though on the generous side. We had a great evening there.

  • The London Fine Meat Company deliver

    Thursday July 7th, 2011

    The London Fine Meat Company was established in late 2009. Stuart Ferretti, who owns the company, has a long history in the meat industry and his initial intention in setting it up was to supply the restaurant trade in and around London with quality meats. Earlier this year Stuart took the step of supplying to the public direct and having heard about this I decided to give his service a road test.

  • The Three Stags, Kennington Road, London

    Thursday July 7th, 2011

    Sitting on the corner of the crossroads with the Imperial War Museum opposite, The Three Stags could best be described as a prime example of an old London pub. Although walking into the pub was a little like walking into a time warp, we had a great time there and enjoyed some really good food. Given that we arrived there at 7.00 pm and didn’t leave until almost closing time, that says it all.

  • Villa Franciacorta wines at Degò

    Wednesday June 22nd, 2011

    We started the evening by tasting four of the Villa Franciacorta sparkling wines in the bar. Having tasted these four lovely wines we descended the stairs to the restaurant area. These were some excellent wines supporting the great food that I had come to expect from Degò following my review.

  • At last! A sweet that's good for your teeth.

    Tuesday June 21st, 2011

    UK company Peppersmith, have been working to produce a mint unlike others on the market. Peppersmith mints are made with English peppermint, farmed in Hampshire and contain no aspartame, artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and unlike most of their high street competitors, they are proven to be good for your teeth.

  • Riedel glass technology raises the spirits

    Friday June 17th, 2011

    I have to admit to having a healthy degree of scepticism when asked along to a spirit tasting using Riedel stemware. Could the shape of a glass make a difference to different spirits? Surely a slug of whisky or other spirit, would smell and taste the same no matter what vessel it was served in. So I arrived at the tasting thinking that this might be a load of bunkum. How wrong could I have been?

  • Rioja Tapas Fantasticas 2011

    Friday June 17th, 2011

    Now in its 4th year, Rioja Tapas Fantasticas will be returning to Potters Field Park, on the South Bank of the Thames, sandwiched between Tower Bridge and the GLA egg shaped building. Tapas Fantasticas is a free festival over the weekend of Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June, it's a fun day out and certainly something you should consider putting in your diary.

  • Laithwaites summer sparklers

    Friday June 17th, 2011

    With summer here, well, trying to be, you might be looking for a wine that’s just right to accompany the barbecue you’re planning, or attending, or to take along to the park in your picnic basket brimming with goodies. We tasted three of their wines that we think are ideal for summer drinking recently, each of which filled our mouths with fresh fruity zinginess.

  • London International Wine Fair

    Thursday June 2nd, 2011

    I probably wouldn’t have gone, but having been invited for lunch at the McGuigan wines stand, I decided to go, I’m a bit of a tart when it comes to lunch invitations. Decision made, invitations to attend a ‘seminar’ at the Friuli stand for a Pinot Grigio tasting and to meet with Steven Spurrier about the Decanter World Wine Awards soon came in.

  • A father’s day wine selection?

    Thursday June 2nd, 2011

    With father’s day coming up you might want to do something special for the old man, like a full on lunch with nicely matched wines to go with the dishes you prepare. Or if you dad’s a guy who likes a glass of wine or two while relaxing in front of the telly, you might just want to drop a few bottles off with your card and leave him to it.

  • New menu options at Cigalon

    Wednesday June 1st, 2011

    Recognising their close proximity to the London Luvvie culture Cigalon have developed two new menus, the first a set menu, which at present will be available to the end of August; the second, a pre-theatre menu which is available to diners sitting down between 5.30 and 6.45.