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This is not intended to sound rude, but what I don't get is the use of "actively engaged' in describing the dining experience.
The problem may simply be in the lack of a general agreement on the meaning of terms, but in my opinion (and this aspect of the discussion is highly subjective) when you make a decision, you're actively engaged.
When you consider a a variety of restaurants, look over their menus, talk to others about them, and choose a place to eat, you're actively engaged in selecting where you dine.
When you order, in most places, there are decisions involved (if the place has a set menu, then that decision has been made previously).
The same holds true of the wine(s) you select, whether or not you have coffee, dessert.
You don't just go into a restaurant and say, 'feed me', tell the waiter to just bring you what he or she deems best. You become involved. I don't know about other people, but if there's something interesting going on behind the scenes, I'll read about that beforehand, since I find context interest; basically, when I eat out, I think.
This doesn't mean I believe I have the right to tell the chef what to do, but I do ask questions about items on the the menu (e.g. 'Does this come with a creamy sauce?', or 'I'm planning on having a fairly substantial dessert, is one of the main dishes particularly light?').
When you go the theater, do you go backstage when you enter, demand to see the director and then describe for him the plot line you're in the mood to see that night?
If you golf, would you tell your club pro that while, yes, you do want to lower your score, you think you should still keep that hitch in your back swing, and since you really like hitting off your back foot, he should work around that too?
Do you tell your mechanic how to rebuild your carburetor, your doctor how to perform surgery, or would you approach Mike Ditka in the middle of a game to tell you think it's time to run a draw play?
In my experience, it's not an issue of trust, it's a matter of control. For some people (certainly not all, as those with actual medical restrictions) the dining experience is simply one more extension of their need for control.
For me, I go, I dine on what's offered. If it's good I go back. If it's not I don't.
The scenarios you describe are not parallel: On any given evening, a theatre shows a set selection of performances, they don't offer a menu, and, while I wouldn't argue with an expert, I certainly would ask questions, because I'm an adult, and since I am accountable for my decisions, I prefer to be familiar with the options, tho process, what lies under the surface. I do know what I enjoy eating, and choose restaurants accordingly. Dining room staff not only take my order, but provide helpful information.
I simply do not see the desire to be informed as an expression of the need for control, or in the least likely to offend a chef (Seriously, who becomes disturbed by someone taking the trouble to be aware of how much effort they've put into something?). Submission is for infants, who, eyes and mouths agape, swallow whatever Mum and Dad choose to spoon in.