Kah Lu and Andrew Santana Hay Market
San Jose natives Chef Kha Lu and sous chef Andrew Santana of Hay Market in Willow Glen both have accomplished résumés working in acclaimed restaurants. At Hay Market, the two San Jose chefs work with Joe Cirone, all equally determined to change the food scene one plate at a time with inventive dishes and carefully sourced produce and proteins.
Kha Lu had no idea he would ever chose the restaurant industry for his passion or career. Initially going to school for business economics and getting his real estate license, he came to the restaurant business by chance after the real estate bubble burst in 2008. In need of a steady income, he went to work part-time in a restaurant, fell in love with it and never looked back.
Andrew Santana, has been part of family-owned restaurants since he was born. His great grandparents owned a modest Mexican restaurant on Market street in San Jose, named Mexicali. The family legacy inspired him to go professional. Santana attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, where he graduated at the top of his class. Staying true to his South Bay roots, he decided work in San Jose. His first assignment: The opening team at Arcadia with Michael Mina.
Both chefs have worked at the Michelin-starred Plumed Horse in Saratoga, under Chef Peter Armellino. After Plumed Horse, Lu moved to Chicago to work at the famous Charlie Trotter’s. He then decided to move back to San Jose and make his name back home. After successfully working several positions at Plumed Horse, Santana teamed up with Kevin Wu and opened Mobowl. He spent the last couple of years traveling Europe, reconnecting with his wife’s family in Sardinia and working at a friend’s pizzeria in Florence. When he’s not with his loving wife and three children, he’s in the kitchen along side his favorite people at Hay Market.