Weird news: Chef accidentally killed wife, then cooked her

And now the cruel internet is turning up old reviews of the restaurant where it happened

Topics: Food, Weird news, Weird news of the day, Murder, yelp reviews, chef,

Weird news: Chef accidentally killed wife, then cooked her (Credit: defotoberg)

On Tuesday, Calififornia restaurateur David Viens went on trial for allegedly murdering his wife, Dawn (though he maintains it was an accident), and cooking her (that part was intentional).

It started in 2009, over beer, bread and lemonade at a California Pizza Kitchen. The Los Angeles Times reported that at some point after dinner, the couple got into a fight that ended with Viens binding his wife’s hands and feet with duct tape — which he told police he’d done twice in the past to prevent her from “driving around wasted, whacked out on coke and drinking.” Viens then fell asleep. He told Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Garcia:

The next morning, “I woke up. I panicked,” he said.

“Why — why did you panic?” Garcia asked.

“She was hard,” Viens said.

She was hard because she was dead, as Viens quickly realized. To get rid of the body, the chef cooked it in a vat of boiling water for four days and drained the waste in a grease pit at The Thyme cafe.

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And, because the Internet is a horrible and soulless, reporters have dug up old reviews of Thyme Cafe, rife with cringe-worthy puns. From Urban Spoon:

“haven’t eaten there since the Dawn of Thyme,” “she was a little too salty,” “heard they were going to rename it ‘The Melting Pot’” and (quoting Hannibal Lecter) “it was served with fava beans and a nice chianti.”

(To be fair, there are a lot of supportive, less callous reviews, too.)




Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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