Lisa Vanderpump Talks Going Toe-to-Toe With Gordon Ramsay for Fox’s ‘Food Stars’ and the Futures of ‘Vanderpump Rules’ and ‘Villa’

Lisa Vanderpump and Gordon Ramsay have been friends and rivals in the restaurant scene for years, but the second season of “Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars” on Fox marks the first time the two have teamed up to take each other down on screen.

In a twist for Season 2 of “Food Stars,” which debuts Wednesday at 9 p.m., food and beverage entrepreneurs will pitch themselves and their products, services or business ideas to Ramsay and reality TV star and restauranteur Vanderpump, who will then choose contestants to build their respective teams who then go through “Business Bootcamp.” Come the finale, one contestant will win a $250,000 prize and either Ramsay or Vanderpump will win bragging rights for being the victor’s mentor.

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“We had to be strategic in choosing a team,” Vanderpump told Variety. “We had these challenges coming up where you had to have all your bases covered: we had to have somebody that understood how the kitchen worked, somebody who understood presenting. It wasn’t just about their brand that they were pitching to us, it was also about their areas of expertise. Sometimes it was frustrating as well when we both went after the same person. And then there were reasons personally, as well, why they chose either one of us. Gordon has got a huge presence in the UK where we filmed it, but the contestants were American, so they’ve known me for years. And then there were emotional reasons somebody would say, a mother who had passed loved you, different reasons.”

The star of Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules” and Hulu’s “Vanderpump Villa” says the competition really heat up whenever Ramsay got boastful, leading her to become “kind of obnoxious.”

“It’s because he wants to win so badly that makes me want to,” she said. “If he ever intimated that he has potentially the stronger contestant and he’s going to win, then that raises the game even more. It was good natured — I can’t ruin how the dynamic changes through the series — but I was in danger of becoming kind of obnoxious if I won anything, because I was gloating. So it was back and forth.”

Vanderpump’s been busy opening new restaurants and duking it out with Ramsay lately, but she is aware fans are awaiting news of renewals for both “Vanderpump Rules” and “Vanderpump Villa.” However, she doesn’t have any news to share right now beyond her optimism of proceeding with them in some form.

“Nothing’s been announced yet. We know we’re on hiatus,” Vanderpump said, adding: “‘Vanderpump Rules’ needs to breathe a little bit because I think we were all bogged down in the aftermath of Scandoval. And I need to keep busy doing what I do best, which is designing and opening restaurants.”

As for a second season of “Villa” on Hulu, though “nothing has been decided” on that front, Vanderpump says the show has been “very successful” on the Disney-owned streamer and there’s “no reason to think we won’t do more of it.” She’s also “definitely” considering a different location for a potential future season, moving from her property in the French countryside to another hotel. She just hasn’t “found the place that I think is perfect for it” yet.

One thing she does know about her reality TV future is that, following Season 2 of “Food Stars,” she’d want to bring Ramsay onto one of her shows for a change.

“I’ve guested on a couple of his shows and now I’ve been in London for two months during his show. It’s about bloody time he showed up on one of mine,” Vanderpump said. “Maybe we’d like to see him have his input in the kitchen on ‘Vanderpump Rules.’ I think people would appreciate that. Any time that I can get Ramsay onto my territory where I can boss him about a bit, there’s a feel-good factor for that.”

Vanderpump got a taste of those “feel-good” moments any time her team was pulling ahead on “Food Stars.”

“I didn’t let him forget it. And he’s used to winning — but guess what? So am I,” she said.

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