Robert Dasalla is chef/owner at San Jose’s Little Chef Counter. Like the name implies, the restaurant offers just counter service inside downtown San Jose’s San Pedro Square Market. The menu focuses on American and French comfort-food classics. Dasalla previously worked at Waterbar and Ana Mandara in San Francisco. He believes fine dining and high-quality cuisines should not be just for the elite, but should be accessible to all.

What’s been your greatest source of inspiration as a chef?
I would have to say the changing seasons. What product is in season greatly influences me on my menu. When I walk through a farmers market and see all the great seasonal produce I just get inspired to create new dishes.

What’s new or exciting on your menu right now?
That would have to be our duck confit served on a roasted summer-vegetable salad.

What’s your favorite Silicon Valley restaurant?
I would have to say the Plumed Horse in Saratoga. Chef Peter Armellino is working magic over there. Their savory souffle is awesome.

If you were a vegetable, what would it be?
I would have to be a potato. Why? Well, when done right, like all things, it’s freakin’ good. It can be the highlight of a dish or it could support it. The versatility of the humble potato is so endless.

What would your last meal be?
Spam with two over-easy eggs over rice and a side of Sriracha sauce. Hey, I’m Filipino.