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Valentine's Day is supposedly the most romantic time of the year ...
You get all dressed up, head out to your favorite local schmancy spot, order a bottle of wine and stare into the eyes of the person you love. Then the kind server brings you a basket of bread and the menu.
Wait, you think. If we don't eat all this bread, what happens to it?
You try to distract yourself by perusing the menu but more questions keep bubbling up.
Do servers actually hate it when you ask for substitutions? Does every kitchen really have bugs?
If you think recipes are the only secrets chefs have been keeping from us — think again!
Food Network conducted an anonymous survey among professional chefs from across the country and convinced them to share dozens of secrets they will never tell their diners.
Here are 10 that we think you need to know:
1. Picky eaters are a pain.
Want the chicken marsala with peas instead of mushrooms? Hope you also want an annoyed chef, because according to the survey, over 60 percent of chefs said they find substitutions irritating.
2. Pass the bread, please ... to another table.
Three chefs admitted that uneaten, but possibly handled, bread removed from one table may makes its way to a new table at their restaurants.
3. The 5-second rule
You know that unwritten rule that states if you drop food on the floor, it's still OK to eat if you pick it up within five seconds? Well, chefs know it, too, and 25 percent of them said they actually follow it. Good thing we discovered the rule checks out!
4. What not to order
When dining out, most chefs avoid pasta and chicken dishes because they're the "most overpriced" and the "least interesting" options on the menu.
5. Pesky pests
Too bad this tidbit didn't remain a secret: Roaches aren't rare in the kitchen. A full 75 percent of those surveyed said they've seen the pests with their own eyes.
6. The special really is special.
Specials aren't just an effective kitchen clear-out for chefs. Most of those asked said that their specials highlight seasonal ingredients and "experimental" dishes.
If you're strictly vegetarian, you should know that your meal might not be. Around 15 percent of the chefs surveyed said their vegetarian meals don't always meet the meat-free standard.
8. Unsavory behavior
Everyone has heard horror stories about chefs getting even with bad customers by doing very bad things to their food behind the kitchen doors. Well, while it does happen, only 13 percent of chefs admit they've actually witnessed that type of bad business.
9. Tip well.
Across the board, chefs said 20 percent is the amount you should be tipping servers — and that that's what they do when they dine out.
10. Or don't...
Well, that's what they usually do. A whopping 90 percent believe it's fair to tip less as a penalty for bad service.
Check out the rest of the reveals on Food Network.
This article was originally published on August 31, 2015.