Q. What do super-spies eat ?

A: Almost nothing . . . When they look at the menu, they look at the food according to what it's going to be like to eat. Are they going to look elegant when they are eating it? Is it going to be the sort of food that spots their clothes? They order foods that make them seem sophisticated."

Q. What would the head of a British spy agency eat ?

A. "They usually are shrewd judges of wine, but their palates have been marred by those early days at school."

Q. Why are spies cannoisseurs of food ?

A. "Their expense accounts are not scrutinized as closely as people who don't work for the government have theirs scrutinized."

Q. Why are they such wine buffs ?

A. "When people are doing clandestine things, they do it on the basis of personal relationships, and personal relationships are over glasses of wine, they're in men's clubs, they're in a bon vivant atmosphere."

Q. What do they really drink at the CIA ?

A. "Probably diet soda."

Q. Where do spies eat ?

A. London : The most famous was Le Petit Club Francais, which just closed. They eat in clubs like White's, Boodle's and the Travellers' Club, where government people eat. Only industrial spies find fancy commercial restaurants useful, because they are where businessmen eat. Los Angeles : Anywhere near the Federal Building. In wartime : "In neutral places in wartime (Lisbon and Zurich during World War II) one heard stories of German and American spies knowing each other and having their own tables at the same restaurants . . . In wartime there is less animosity (between spies), curiously enough. The animosity is in peacetime."

Q. When do spies eat ?

A. "Whenever they get the opportunity."

Q. What food would a spy use to soften up a source ?

A. "Alcohol."