Watch CBS News

Lynn Yamada Davis, Cooking with Lynja TikTok chef, dies at age 67

Lynn Yamada Davis, a TikTok chef known for her comedic cooking videos, has died at the age of 67, her son announced on social media Friday. Her son said her final moments were "super peaceful," and she was surrounded by friends and family when she died.

Her daughter, Hannah Mariko Shofet, told The New York Times her mother died of esophageal cancer.

In a video posted to social media, Davis' son showed a series of photos of her, as a child, a college student at MIT, and one after she graduated with a degree in civil engineering. "She's so cool," he said of his mother. Her son showed pictures of Davis as a young mother with his older brother, a professional soccer player, and said that she was a "proud mom." There were photos of their old kitchen and photos of Davis running — she ran eight marathons, her son said.

The mother of four children, according to a profile for the MIT Alumni Association, she started making Cooking with Lynja videos with Tim, her youngest child. Follower growth was slow at first until a 2021 video on making a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich became a viral sensation on TikTok.

Lynn Yamada "Lynja" Davis attends the Streamy Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on August 27, 2023, in Los Angeles, California.
Lynn Yamada "Lynja" Davis attends the Streamy Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on August 27, 2023, in Los Angeles, California. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Davis had close to 30 million followers across various platforms, where she posted over-the-top videos of her cooking, often joking with her children. On TikTok, where Davis had 17.8 million followers, she appeared in videos tasting food around the world but she most often cooked from home.

She made wagyu steaks after complaining about the $100 price tag and ate sandwiches while dipping her feet in a kiddie pool — all the time maintaining a grandmotherly aura. An alter character "Little Lynja" would appear in the videos often admonishing her or giving her cooking instructions.

In 2022, Davis won a Streamy Award, which honors excellence in online video.

She was the "internet's grandma," her son said at the close of Friday's video. "She was the best," he said, adding he was glad her audience got to experience how wonderful a person she was. "Thank you so much for these last couple of years. We had so much fun making videos."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.