1. Available. Participants will be obtaining their own ingredients, so something inexpensive and easily obtained is optimal. The avocado is a good option; the moon-dust of Phobos, less so.
2. Unusual. In contrast to the original Iron Chef's focus on optimal use of, say, milk, I'm going for novelty factor. A good example would be beef suet: While used in desserts for millennia, most people - myself included - have never used it before.
3. Appropriate. Some ingredients - say, marsala wine - have such limited application that the results will likely taste very similar.
4. No balsamic vinegar. On pain of ninja death squad.
Edited by jrshaul, 06 January 2013 - 11:58 PM.