Panetta's Italian CIA Holiday Party

The off-the-record party was served Panetta family style.

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

This year's off-the-record CIA holiday party—a prized ticket—was served Panetta family style. The son of Italian immigrants, Director Leon Panetta ordered up Italian fare in the agency's famed lobby for senior administration and congressional officials, foreign dignitaries, former CIA directors, and the agency's top brass. The faves: gourmet ravioli and zabaglione dessert prepared by the agency's Italian-American executive chef, a graduate of the other CIA (the Culinary Institute of America). The Californian spy boss, a former House member, also put a personal touch on the evening's wines, Bernardus chardonnay and Lockwood Block 7 pinot noir from his Monterey County home.

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