Top Chef's first double elimination claimed Nyesha Arrington and Dakota Weiss after they undercooked their venison — or more specifically, Dakota undercooked the venison. "It sucks to go home for something I didn't do myself," Nyesha tells TVGuide.com. "When it's something you did, it's a little easier to swallow." Still, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based chef says she's not bitter that she had to go down for Dakota's mistake.
Top Chef's Whitney: My thought process was off
Did you think you guys would get eliminated? That's usually the fate if you don't cook a dish properly.
Nyesha: Yeah, I mean, we had the biggest error. There was no question about it. It wasn't cooked. It was really difficult to do a team challenge where you're both trying to take responsibility and you're both working on one dish and one person is in charge of the main piece, and it doesn't go well.
How did the venison end up undercooked? Was it the oven?
Nyesha: No. I don't really know. You'd have to ask her. Dakota and I cooked a trial loin and I thought we had the times dialed in. I don't know what happened. I started to plate and turn around and she's standing there, looking at me. And she goes, "It's raw!" And I just told her to keep cooking it more. I was like, "Cook it! Clearly, it's raw!" [Laughs] You know? It's like, do you want me to re-confirm this?
How much time was left at that point? Was there any chance you could've salvaged it?
Nyesha: That's the thing. Where we were each positioned, she walked around the entire kitchen to the other side to tell me that. I'm already plating plates and basically they're like 80 percent ready to go and just needed the venison to come out of the oven sliced. If I were doing the venison and it was undercooked, I would've sliced it and seared it right away. But she came over and asked what to do and I said to slice it and baste it and shoot them in there quickly. So that took up some time because every second counts. But I'm really not sure how it ended up raw in the first place.