'Iron Chef' Secrets Revealed

"When you have battle quail or battle turkey and you see the ice cream [machine] flip on," he said, "you're like, 'Oh great, here we go again. Some more turkey ice cream! Just had that last night.'"

Speaking of the "secret ingredient" -- just how secret is it? The chefs always seem so surprised. But are they?

It turns out the chefs do know in advance ... kind of. Before the show, they're told the secret ingredient could be one of three items.

"I think to just say you have no idea what the ingredient is when you come in is impossible, because you have to stock the kitchen," said Knowlton. "You have to have certain stuff that the chefs want. It's logistics."

The ingredients may not be a complete surprise to the chefs, but for the audience there's always that element of mystery. They're eating up all the drama and seem hungry for more.

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