'Cooking With Lynja' TikTok chef Lynn Yamada Davis dies at 67

ByKelly McCarthy via GMA ABCNews logo
Sunday, January 14, 2024
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Tributes from content creators have poured in on social media after news rocked the tight-knit digital culinary community that TikTok star Lynn "Lynja" Yamada Davis died.

The late social media star who was best known for her quirky and fun cooking tutorials, died from esophageal cancer on New Year's Day at Riverview Medical Center in New Jersey, as first reported by the LA Times following confirmation from her eldest daughter Hannah Shofet.

From a YouTube channel with nearly 10 million subscribers to a TikTok with over 17 million followers and Instagram with 2.2 million, "Cooking With Lynja" was a warm and well-loved addition to the sea of content in the ever-changing algorithms.

Her son Tim Davis shared a tribute video on her social media channels Friday, confirming the news as well as showing memorable family photos that highlight "how amazing and cool she really, really was."

"When I think of my mom, this is who I think of," he said. "The Internet's grandma. She was the best. So glad you guys got to experience how wonderful of a person she was and that you guys treated her so well."

The video, as of the time of publication, has racked up over 9 million views on TikTok with over 63,000 comments.

One of the photos Tim showed gave followers a glimpse into their family's old kitchen from 1995, where she was helping him roll out the dough while standing on a step stool. "Way different than the 'Cooking with Lynja' kitchen," he said in the video.

Culinary creators regularly collaborate with one another through in-person pop-ups and events, so it comes as no surprise that Davis' lasting impact is being celebrated in the form of social media tributes.

Commenters on Davis' video included record producer and actor Benny Blanco, who wrote: "heaven just got an angel. I can still hear her infectious laugh in my head now... prayers for u and ur family."

Chef and food personality Nick DiGiovanni, known for his viral cooking videos like setting the Guinness World Record with Davis for creating the largest donut in September, created an original tribute to his close friend, recapping behind-the-scenes moments.

"You might remember her as the fun-loving cooking grandma. But I'll always remember her as the woman who fought off her cancer diagnosis for as long as she could, humbly and quietly without ever complaining," he said in the video before cutting to clips of the pair cooking, high-fiving, and setting world records and traveling to Japan and Italy together.

Davis, a third generation Japanese American, first started her YouTube channel in 2020 with her son Tim and went on to share delicious recipes, helpful bites of cooking knowledge in a signature style filled with funky edits and cheesy jokes.

In addition to her collaborations with food creators, Davis was named in Forbes' Top 50 Creators list in 2022, earned three consecutive Streamy Awards nominations, winning her first in 2022.

Davis is survived by her daughter Shofet, husband Keith Davis, daughter Becky Steinberg, sons Tim Davis and Sean Davis and siblings Jay Yamada and Karen Yamada Dolce.

Her funeral has already been held, but the family told fans they can donate to the Monmouth County SPCA or the Monmouth & Ocean chapter of food charity FulFill in Davis' honor.