Whoopi Goldberg Subs for Rachael Ray at This Year’s Burger Bash

Photo: Courtesy of Dan Klores Communications

The Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival returns this year from September 29 through October 2, and tickets for this year’s fête go on sale on Monday, June 20. The big news: This year Whoopi Goldberg will host the Burger Bash in lieu of Rachael Ray, who we’re told will be out of the country for over a year for “personal” reasons (Update: Ray’s personal rep says she’ll be in Italy celebrating her wedding anniversary). Oh well. Events like Meatball Madness (hosted by Giada this year), Chelsea Market After Dark (hosted by Emeril), and Morimoto’s sushi karaoke will return, and a new event called “Fried” will showcase some of the fried chicken John Besh taste-tested for us (Hill Country Chicken, Peels, Pies-N-Thighs), plus more from Blue Ribbon, Red Rooster, Seersucker, and Michelle Bernstein’s Miami joint. Michy’s. Jacques Pepin will be honored in the festival’s first tribute dinner; Adam Richman will lead a tour of Brooklyn; Ferran Adrià will be the big-deal Times Talk; and there’s way, way more. Check out the full lineup of events to see what else is up.