Father Yod and the unstoppable munch of healthier eating
When a vegetarian ex-stuntman with messianic delusions opened a Hollywood health food restaurant in 1969 it was not immediately apparent that mainstream America — and the world — would follow his lead.
Jim Baker, who styled himself as Father Yod, took multiple wives, lived in a mansion with about 150 robe-clad followers and had killed two men with his bare hands. He also reputedly made the best salad dressing in Los Angeles. The Source, his restaurant on Sunset Boulevard was one of the first in the country to serve organic vegetarian food that people actually liked. Regulars included Steve McQueen, Julie Christie, John Lennon and Warren Beatty. Woody Allen filmed part of Annie Hall there.
Baker is perhaps the most colourful figure in a new…