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A Hotel in Orange County Wants to Pay You For Your Restaurant Concept

The Marriott Irvine is part of a larger restaurant incubator launch called CANVAS.

Courtesy Marriott
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

As Orange County continues to grow as a regionally (if not, in some cases, nationally) known food destination, more and more outlets look to get in on the innovation. In this case, it’s the Marriott Irvine.

The popular mid-level hotel chain is opening up the kitchen doors at its downtown Irvine location (there are other openings spread across the Marriott universe, as well), allowing guest chefs the opportunity to test out their recipes and business models on site. The fledgling project is called CANVAS, and is dubbed as a food + drink concept lab," where entrepreneurs can feed off of the high-volume hospitality experience while honing in on their own restaurant ideas.

Local chefs, take note, though: this isn’t a free-for-all. Potential candidates have until January 16 to submit their food and drink pitch, and only those selected will be given access to the Marriott Irvine-turned-incubator. But for those who make the cut, a bit of seed money (and potentially further resources like actual, physical space) is in the cards, with Marriott tagging along for the ride to make sure the concept stays sound and at least has the ability to provide a reasonable return on investment.

For any interested young chef/restaurateur/bartender, two locations are currently available on the Canvas site: Irvine and downtown Phoenix. Chefs and budding restaurateurs can apply at both locations, with each offering a neutral space to work out the kinks. Sign up this way!