The Cloak and Dagger Cook: A CIA Memoir

Overview

"Kay Nelson's delightful memoir provides a unique insight into the real life of a CIA intelligence officer. Allen Dulles said that OSS founder William Donovan 'knew the world, having traveled widely and understood people . . . in short, he had the qualities to be desired in an intelligence officer.' So, too, does Kay Nelson. Perhaps the most important ability of any intelligence officer is to earn the trust of foreigners willing to take great risks on behalf of the United States. Kay Nelson's memoir teaches us that food is a key to unlocking and

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Overview

"Kay Nelson's delightful memoir provides a unique insight into the real life of a CIA intelligence officer. Allen Dulles said that OSS founder William Donovan 'knew the world, having traveled widely and understood people . . . in short, he had the qualities to be desired in an intelligence officer.' So, too, does Kay Nelson. Perhaps the most important ability of any intelligence officer is to earn the trust of foreigners willing to take great risks on behalf of the United States. Kay Nelson's memoir teaches us that food is a key to unlocking and understanding cultures other than our own. I know exactly what Julia Child of the OSS would say after reading Kay's book: 'Bon appétit!'"
—Charles Pinck, president, Office of Strategic Services Society

"In all the years I have known Kay, I had never realized she was former CIA, and not the culinary version. Clearly, she knows how to keep a secret! But no longer. This caring memoir gives us a clear picture of how far American cuisine has come since the 1950s as a result of the far flung travels and compelling stories by food writers such as Kay. It does so with a dash of Cold War insight, too. Her many culinary articles in American periodicals on Korean kimchi, Turkish Delights, and other foods foreign to the American palate, at the time, gave Kay her cover during her twenty years obtaining intelligence for the Agency. And, she took her avocation seriously."
—Katherine Newell Smith, past president, Les Dames d'Escoffier International; president, Les Dames d'Escoffier-Washington, D.C. Chapter; and president, KNS Promotion Inc.

"From mysterious fizzy spirits (liquid and human) to live food selected from trapdoors under restaurant tables to sacrificial lambs (at the office and in the market square outside her window), this delightful gastro-biographic guidebook starts off by sending abroad a wide-eyed CIA novice who returns an epicurean, globe-trotting and seasoned intelligence officer, author, and down-to-earth sophisticate. Like a complex, silky-smooth digestif, it finishes so quickly with such a pleasant buzz, you'll want to signal the waiter for a second round."
—Elizabeth Bancroft, executive director, Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589806641
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,198,111
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Kay Shaw Nelson is a nationally recognized writer/researcher of a variety of current and historical subjects. The author of twenty cookbooks, she is a newspaper columnist, culinary historian, member of the National Press Club, and contributor to Washington Woman and the Scottish Banner. She is also a frequent lecturer on the history of food and travel subjects. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

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