TikTok Chef Lynn Yamada Davis Has Died

The TikTok food community is mourning today following the news that chef Lynn Yamada Davis, a beloved cooking creator, has passed away at the age of 67. Her daughter confirmed to The New York Times that Davis died on January 1 near her home in New Jersey. Her cause of death was esophageal cancer. On January 12, Davis's son, Tim, shared a tribute video to her channel, adding that his mother's "final moments were super peaceful, and thankfully, she was surrounded by the people she loved most."

Davis, known as @cookingwithlynja on TikTok, was a passionate home chef who took a fun and creative approach to everything from baking to barbecuing. One of her first viral videos was a bacon, egg, and cheese tutorial posted in 2020 that garnered 1.7 million views. Just about three years later, fans of her content multiplied more than tenfold. One video posted in 2023, a tutorial for chocolate-covered yogurt strawberry patties, raked in nearly 180 million viewers.

The retired engineer-turned-TikTok influencer became a viral sensation on the platform thanks to her humorous cooking videos and food vlogs, created with the help of her son, a videographer. In fact, Davis credited him for her social media stardom, as he had originally asked her to participate in a video project early in the Covid-19 pandemic. Her cooking tutorials on YouTube and TikTok quickly took off, and as of the time of writing, Davis's channels across social media have amassed a total of more than 31 million followers.

Tributes from fans and fellow chefs are pouring in

Due to her playful personality and decadent edible creations, chef Lynn Yamada Davis was beloved by fans and fellow chefs across the world, both online and off. Throughout her TikTok career, the mother and grandmother earned numerous accolades. In 2022 she was named one of Forbes' Top 50 over 50 Creators, and brought home two Streamy Awards for "Best Food" and "Best Editing" that same year.

Since the news of her passing, countless creators and fans have posted tributes to Davis. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay expressed his condolences on the TikTok video shared by her son, while "Bizarre Foods" host and chef Andrew Zimmern shared his own homage to the star on Instagram. "I know so many of us are immensely saddened by this news. To all her friends and family, to her legions of fans, our condolences...she will be missed. She was...a singular talent," he captioned the post.

Nick DiGiovanni, a fellow content creator and frequent collaborator of Davis's, also posted a heartfelt video recapping the moments he and Davis shared, including behind-the-scenes peeks of their experiences creating the world's largest cake pop together, as well as recordings from their trips to Japan and Italy. Bittersweet as it may be, fans can still look forward to some new @cookingwithlynja content; as Davis's son Tim told The New York Times, he will be sharing the last of her videos recorded before her passing to her channel.