EXCLUSIVE: Peri Basel on Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars Elimination and What Viewers Didn’t See

Peri Basel exclusive interview on Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars.
Photo Credit: FOX

Season 2 of Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars is serving up a nail-biting episode every week. The FOX show features Gordon Ramsay and Lisa Vanderpump. These restaurant industry legends have their own teams. And their rivalry is television gold. The contest is fierce because the final contestant will win $250,000.

But Peri Basel was eliminated during the fourth episode. All because Team Vanderpump failed to impress their client, Delish, with their recipe and demonstration.

During Peri’s pitch, Lisa was fascinated by her product. Her company, BOĆE, created and sells a coaster that enhances the flavor of beverages. The technology moves from the coaster to the beverage that is placed on it. Lisa quickly added Peri to her team.  

The third challenge involved creating a Fourth of July recipe and a live cook-a-long demo for home cooks. Peri was the team leader on this project. While the team was told that they lost because the recipe was too confusing, Lisa questioned Peri’s leadership.

Reality Tea spoke with Peri about her elimination from Food Stars, why her product is important, and what viewers didn’t see.

Why BOĆE is a revolutionary product

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Peri spoke with us about this product, which is “patent protected by the U.S. Government.”

“Well, there’s two sides to this story. Dr. [Drew] Karp, who is also my future husband, created this over 20 years ago for his patients. And we’ve actually been selling it in his medical practice for over 20 years,” Peri said.

“And we have these patients that worked for Whispering Angel [Rose], and they did this party with [a blind] taste-testing. Their friends didn’t even know that half of the glasses had been on the coaster. And everybody returned for the one that was on the coaster,” she stated.

“So, about a year and a half ago, we said, ‘You know what? I think that the world is ready for us to bring this to market because the holistic community has gotten so big and thinking outside the box has gotten so big,’” Peri explained.

Some surprising results about BOĆE

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“We knew that it changed the taste. We knew that it made everything smoother, and no bitterness or whatever, especially in wine and spirits, but we didn’t know why.”

The company did some further testing. She continued, “So, we ended up going to an independent lab that’s in Wisconsin that only does testing on beers, wines, and spirits. And it ended up that there was a decrease in the fusel oils. And if you Google, ‘What are fusel oils?’ It is exactly what causes the harshness, the bite, and the burn,” Peri said.

“So, that was the answer [to] what was happening with the spirits. But it was like, ‘Why is wine tasting like it was decanted?’ And with wine, what was happening was it was aerating the wine. So, we started doing taste testing with professionals,” she added.

There is also a special goal for this product. “It was always about humanity and not about, you know, how do we make millions of dollars,” Peri stated. “It’s so not about that. We’re 65 years old. It really is, ‘What can we leave for our children in this world?’”

How Peri landed on HSN

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Peri had a memorable experience when presenting the coasters to HSN (Home Shopping Network.) “So, it’s interesting how I got on HSN. When I went to show them the product, I brought you know little bottles of alcohol – like you were on an airplane. And they’re like, ‘I’m sorry. We’re not allowed to drink during the day,’” she said.

“And I’m like, ‘Of course you can’t.’ So, here are bottles of … water. And we just put the bottles on the coaster and off the coaster. And we laid them out.”

Peri continued, “And you know what? We had an order and we had a date the very next day because every buyer in the division went, ‘Oh my God!’ We made [the] water taste like it was triple-filtered. It was amazing.”

Peri decided to go on the show to promote the coasters. “So, I went on Food Stars because after Season 1, I could see that they were promoting everybody’s businesses, and so for me, that was a way to get the message out about a new product that you’ve never heard of before,” she said, “that actually works and is something for humanity in the long run.”

Why Peri stands behind her leadership style

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Peri loved her time on Food Stars. “I have to tell you it was an amazing experience. It was the best experience of my life.”

As for why her leadership style didn’t translate for her team members? “I think, you know, the difference for me was I run very big, big companies. Very big divisions of companies. And I’m not a micromanager. It’s just not my thing,” Peri explained.

“I [have] people who are the best at what they do and let them shine without me having to run in there and micromanage everybody. Or else I would do the whole thing myself if that’s what I had to do.”

Peri added, “So, it was a very different experience for me because I look at the very big picture of things. And so we didn’t lose because of my management skills. We lost … because you know, it’s interesting, we lost because of the recipe. But when the recipe was done in the kitchen portion of it, before they showed it on air, it was done in 15 minutes.”

But live TV is unforgiving. “Things changed, of course, when it’s live TV. It’s live TV, and that’s what happened. But you know, watching the episode last night, I could … you know a lot ends up on the cutting room floor,” she said.

“What I thought [was], ‘Listen, you know what? Shrimp and pineapple on the Fourth of July – it’s not my thing. I was looking at the big picture of things and letting people shine,” Peri said.

She was surprised by the feedback

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“So, for the comments, if you needed me to be a micromanager for what you were doing, I’m sorry. You shouldn’t be an entrepreneur if you need micromanaging. My leadership skills are very different [as] somebody who has experience in big business,” the former Team Vanderpump contestant said.

“In big business, you don’t micromanage anybody. You put people in place for what they do best. And that’s really what I did, and it ended up to be my downfall, as well.”

Peri also had a more serious mindset when it came to the challenges. “When it comes to business, I’m serious,” she stated. “I went in with a different mindset. I went in with a professional mindset for my business to get out there, to let people shine at what they do best. And, ‘Oh well!’” Peri told us.

Why Team Vanderpump was shocked about their loss

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Not only were some viewers surprised, but so was Lisa’s team. “I mean, even Lisa thought we were going to win. As you know, two days of shooting [goes] into one hour of television. But Lisa had said to us, ‘Listen, you know me. I’m over the top. My restaurants are over the top. You need to be over the top,’” Peri said.

“And so we went into this challenge with the mindset of ‘Lisa wants us to be over the top.’ Even down to the end, the other team thought that they lost. And after that, it was like ‘Really? What happened that we didn’t see … that we lost?’”

She continued, “Because I was manning the computer, and you know maybe it was like 10 percent of negative comments, but 90 percent were positive comments. And so, you know, it’s reality TV. So, they have to make it look a certain way,” Peri added.

Did Peri want to be Team Vanderpump or Team Ramsay?

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“I had originally wanted to be on Team Gordon because I thought the business had the capability of getting out there. I ended up on Team Lisa, which was great. Listen, I loved everyone,” Peri remarked.

“I loved every second of being there. It was the best experience of my life. For me, it was about getting out there.” Peri named what she enjoyed about the experience. “Women showing business acumen. Being positive. It doesn’t matter how old you are. To be 65 years old … to be able to get on this show with a product that’s only been out there for a year and a half? Really? [It] was amazing. Amazing!” she exclaimed.

“It was terrific. And for me, at this age, being able to bring to the universe a product … I know that people are skeptical. ‘How is that even possible?’ But guess what? Does it really matter how it works? Just so you know it works,” the Food Star contestant commented.

Peri’s favorite challenge

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When asked which challenge was her favorite, Peri replied, “I loved all of them. I really did.” She added, “It’s interesting what you see on TV versus being there. So, the last challenge, the bar challenge, I’m telling you, we were having a party. People would not leave. We were there until one in the morning.”

Peri continued, “That’s another one. We thought that we were going to win that one, too. Because for us it was more explained like this is a party situation instead of a bar situation.”

Peri’s reaction to her elimination

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During The Grilling, Lisa honed in on Peri and Chef Nicholas [Ducos]. But Lisa’s decision was a surprise. “We all were very, very close, and even though I was not a micromanager, I let everyone do their thing. Rise to the top. But I was surprised, really,” Peri said.

But there was ongoing tension with Nicholas. “Again, it ended up on the cutting room floor. It was like there were two teams in this team. There’s the team, and then there’s Nicholas,” Peri said.

And Team Vanderpump weathered some other challenges. “I took this as [seriously] as if this was my own business. And being my age and having the experience that I have at a much higher level, I put the best people in place to do their jobs and I oversee,” she told us.

“What you don’t see is the camera didn’t work, the flash didn’t work, [and] the iPad didn’t work. [Those] are the challenges that were happening that you don’t see that ended up on the cutting room floor,” she stated.

“You know, instead, you see me behind a computer. Well, where do you want me to be? I have the best person who has experience behind the camera. I have the best person in front of the camera, Erica [Levin]. She is someone who has been on the news in Chicago. I have Nick, who is a chef. It is what it is,” Peri said.

What were Team Vanderpump’s strengths?

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Then Peri was asked about Team Vanderpump’s strengths and weaknesses. Peri told us, “The strength that everybody had was they were good at what they did. The weakness that I found was that no one looked at the whole entire picture. They all looked at micro-parts of everything instead of the big picture of what would work, what won’t work.” She added, “And that was, what I think, the issue was.”

However, there was a silver lining to her time on the show. Peri gained some new friends. “I’m just thankful that at this time in my life I was able to be on such a fantastic team. I’ve made life-long friends. Believe me,” she explained.

“I have my freezer filled with Twisted Dough [Rose Hankins’ company]. I now have two sets of Kyson [Clark’s] dinnerware. We made amazing, amazing, amazing friends.”

Peri spent time with Erica, and Rose has visited Peri. “We’re all planning our next get-together. It was a lifelong amazing experience.”

Who should win the competition?

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Peri has a feeling about who might be the next Food Star. “Listen, Jess [Druey] is phenomenal. I think that Jess should win the competition because as much as it irritated me that she jumped in on every challenge, [she] rocked it. She did. The girl is the full package,” Peri explained. “So, from the day I met her when we all met for the first time, I said to her, ‘You’re going to win.’”

And, for fun, Peri selected her ultimate Food Stars Dream Team. “Everybody has their strengths,” Peri said. She listed off Rose, Liz [Aust], Andrew [Whiting], Jess, and Erica, along with herself. “Dream Team!” she exclaimed.

This interview was edited for conciseness and clarity.

Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars airs on Wednesdays at 9/8c on FOX.