- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The name’s DeFilippo. Fred DeFilippo. His mission, which he chooses to accept every day: Feed America’s spies.

The 33-year-old chef slaved away for years in restaurants in upstate New York, but tired of long hours and humdrum days.

Now, he has what he calls a “dream job” with good working hours and clandestine clients at the Central Intelligence Agency who guard some of America’s top state secrets as they munch on their dish of the day.

Mr. DeFilippo had heard of “fantasy jobs” in which chefs cook for large corporations. So he decided to get in touch with his alma mater, the Culinary Institute of America, which also goes by the initials CIA.

“The alumni staff officers thought I would be a perfect fit for a corporate job in Northern Virginia, but they did not tell me which corporation,” Mr. DeFilippo said in an interview.

Before he was told where he would be working, Mr. DeFilippo had to submit to a deep background check, to ensure he was not a foreign agent.

“It was only after I got the job did I find out where it was — and boy was I surprised.”

Now, Mr. DeFilippo’s kitchen is in the middle of one of the most closely guarded spots in the world, at the Central Intelligence Agency’s vast headquarters in suburban Langley.

“The novelty of working here wore off in about month after I started,” said Mr. DeFilippo.

Is cooking for spies any different from feeding normal civilians? Not much, but Mr. DeFilippo can’t just come and go as he pleases.

Each time he wants to leave the kitchen, he needs an escort, and must be accompanied to the entrance to CIA headquarters, as he has no clearance to handle classified documents.

Mr. DeFilippo’s empire consists of three dining rooms, one of which seats 90, another that has space for 50, and the inner sanctum: a private dining room used by CIA Director Porter J. Goss and his guests.

Mr. DeFilippo clocks in at 4:45 every weekday morning and is finished by 3 in the afternoon, a far cry from the grueling days, long hours and weekend shifts put in by most chefs.

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