I've often wondered how far in advance the teams learn what the 'secret' ingredient is. It seems they run right from the secret ingredient supply to their sides of Kitchen Stadium and begin working right away. There is no huddle where they decide what to make.
I decided to investigate tongiht and found out they get a list of 3-5 secret ingredients weeks before and then one hour before taping they learn which one was picked.
How Iron Chef Makes Its Magic:
Do most restaurant kitchens have a "blast chiller"? I think I would have one in my dream kitchen. Also two dishwashers...or maybe a couple sets of those new dishwasher drawers.
Gatchets that I would not like in my dream kitchen: electric can opener (it would increase my carbon footprint), platewarmers, trash compacter.