I originally had the idea of Sirphey, a food-tech startup that would make dishes from around the world available to everyone, years ago, but filed it away in the back of my mind and focused on my research career, instead.
But it simply would not go away. While working at Los Alamos National Laboratory and asking myself “What Next?” that idea I’d been ignoring for too long seemed the obvious answer. So I decided to forego another research position in order to create something entirely new in the world of cuisine, aiming to meet and surpass industry standards in every way by changing the way a restaurant works.
First, I decided that we would nearly eliminate the front of house – Sirphey is 100% takeout and delivery. This provides convenience to our customers but also allows us to take care of our employees. I’ve known many cooks and chefs, all of whom work incredibly long hours for very little pay, and it seems entirely wrong to me – they are the lifeline of the business. Our chefs receive living wages and work standard business hours. This means that not only do they not need to be concerned about providing for themselves and their family, but they can actually spend time with their family. My family and friends mean the world to me, and I make it a point to carve out time for them, no matter how busy I am.
Second, since being a takeout restaurant has the side effect of producing a great deal of waste, I decided, quite early on, to make Sirphey as green as we possibly could. This means both sustainable sourcing and eco friendly disposal. Our takeout containers are made of sugarcane and plastic. The sugarcane is 100% compostable and grown in a sustainable manner; the plastic is made from 100% recycled material (as are our utensils) so that we could eliminate the use of virgin plastic. We try to be as eco-friendly as possible and know that many of our customers do, as well, so we have done all we can to make sure customers can order as often as they wish without being concerned with how much waste that may produce.
Third, we want to be a positive force within the community, not simply a business that operates within it. Sirphey will be partnering with local and national nonprofits and charities to give back to the community. We’ve already pledged to support the Veterans of Foreign Wars (who have been such a tremendous aid to us and with whom we share a space) and Camp Corazones in Santa Fe. If customers have ideas or suggestions for groups Sirphey can work with, please let us know. We’d love to hear about them.
And of course, we want our customers to be able to experience quality, delicious food from around the world on any day of the week. I’ve lived in cities and small towns, and while I love both, the element of cities I loved most was that I could eat almost any kind of food at any hour (I really do love food!). Sirphey allows us to make that a reality, anywhere, be it a small community of 500 or a metropolis. Our chefs have experience in a wide array of cuisines and that is reflected in our daily – changing curated menus, giving you a small taste of the world, each day. And we also partner with guest chefs who join Sirphey on special occasions to provide our customers with even more variety.
I truly hope that you will enjoys what we have created with Sirphey.
Dr. Prashant Jain
This restaurant accepts reservations during Restaurant Week.
1793 Deacon St
Los Alamos, NM 87544