This week kicked off the annual foodie awards season—known more for chef’s coats than ball gowns. Washington has a strong showing among the nominees for the James Beard Awards, the Oscars for restauranteurs nationally: Central Michel Richard for Best New Restaurant, Jose Andres for Outstanding Chef, and Johnny Monis of Komi for Rising Star Chef. Local restaurants also got nods in the Best Chef Mid-Atlantic category. The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington announced nominees for its Rammy awards a few days later at a fete at the DC Ritz . . . .
. . . The Post’s Jane Black gives us one more reason to indulge in Chipotle: The chain is now using local pork from Polyface Farms, the Charlottesville farm that supplies some of the area’s toniest restaurants . . . .
. . . On the other end of the fast-food spectrum, while most gastronomes turn up their noses at commercially produced food, the City Paper’s Tim Carman praises the Olive Garden and admits his not-so-secret love for Taco Bell’s Burrito Supreme . . .
. . . In Tom Sietsema’s Wednesday online chat at washingtonpost.com, a reader chimed in that Sushi Ko has (finally!) opened in Chevy Chase. Sietsema called the owner and confirmed the good news for sushi-lovers . . .
. . . Sietsema also reports on an interesting joint venture at 14th and V streets in Northwest DC between two successful restauranteurs— Andy Shallal (Busboys and Poets) and Michael Babin (Neighborhood Restaurant Group) . . .
. . . As his new Westend Bistro won a Rammy nomination for New Restaurant of the Year, celeb chef Eric Ripert prepared dishes using only ingredients from Manhattan’s Jack’s 99 Cent Store for the New York Times . . .
. . . Metrocurean reports that Top Chef candidate Spike—who has yet to distinguish himself in the season four’s first three episodes—will open a burger spot on the Hill . . .
. . . And in March Madness-related food news, Erin Zimmer mourns the loss of her alma mater with a post on her favorite Hoya eats (with a nifty map!).