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Lisa Vanderpump Knew How to Deal With Gordon Ramsay Before Food Stars

Lisa Vanderpump and Gordon Ramsay connected as restaurateurs way before she signed on for the second season of his series Food Stars.

“When he first asked me to do it, we had a kind of playful relationship, albeit competitive because we had restaurants opposite each other, restaurants next to each other,” Vanderpump, 63, exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, May 20, ahead of the season 2 premiere of Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars. “In fact, we’re opening a restaurant each in the Flamingo now, so, you know, off we go again.”

Season 2 sees Vanderpump and Ramsay face off as they build a team of food and beverage entrepreneurs to compete against each other in the pair’s “Business Bootcamp.” Ramsay and Vanderpump, who are both reality TV icons in addition to restaurateurs, serve as mentors to the competitors, where one will walk away with a $250,000 cash prize. But for Vanderpump, working against Ramsay felt “different” in the way she initially expected given their longstanding history in the industry.

“I just also thought it was very interesting on many different levels because it was going to be about the emotional component between the contestants, the business strategy, the challenges, survival of the fittest, the iconic places that we were gonna go,” she explained. “And ultimately how Gordon and I would handle each other … and he is used to kind of being autonomous and being the boss of everything he does, and suddenly there are two bosses in the picture.”

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Vanderpump admitted she questioned whether or not Ramsay was going to “move over enough” and give her the space she needed to shine.

Lisa Vanderpump Says She Knew How to Handle Gordon Ramsay Ahead of Joining His Show ‘Food Stars’

Lisa Vanderpump, Gordon Ramsay.
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“There was a little bit of butting heads, but it was all faced with respect,” she teased. “I think I can’t minimize what he accomplished in his life. It is extraordinary But it was also handling him as well and getting him to settle down and shut the f–k up sometimes.”

Before joining Food Stars, Vanderpump confessed she didn’t know how “competitive” she was going to be. And her desire to win was fueled by wanting to take down Ramsay.

Lisa Vanderpump Says She Knew How to Handle Gordon Ramsay Ahead of Joining His Show ‘Food Stars’
Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit

“I saw how important it was to him for him to win, the more important it was for me to beat him,” she told Us while noting that the audience will also get a taste of a “more sensitive side” of Ramsay as the season progresses. “When I saw that, I was like, ‘Whoa,’ because normally it’s like, ‘Hey, come on.’ … and I saw him moved a couple of times where I thought, ‘Oh my God, you big softie.’”

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Vanderpump shared that while on the show, she knew that her ability to form bonds with the contestants on a personal level would be her biggest strength as a mentor.

“People connect with me very much on an emotional component though,” she said. “If it’s not LGBT rights, if it’s not dog rights, if it is not women in business [it’s] because I’ve very much interacted with the people that have supported me.”

Season 2 of Food Stars premieres on Fox on Wednesday, May 22, at 9 p.m. ET

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