Adam Glick likes an adventure. It’s why he chooses to live out of a van traversing the West, surfing and snowmobiling to his heart’s content, and it’s what got the yacht chef into sailing in the first place, on a 9,000-mile surfing trek across the Pacific Ocean. “There I was, cooking lamb chops 3,000 miles from anything,” he says. “You sit back for a second and think to yourself, Goddamn, I’ve got the coolest job on the planet.”
It’s also what brought him back for another round of Below Deck after the highs and lows of his two seasons as chef on Below Deck: Mediterranean. This time, he’s chef on a 180-foot sailing yacht in Greece, as a crew member on the first season of Below Deck: Sailing Yacht, which premiered last night. Not only does he have one of the hardest jobs on a sailboat (to be fair, being on a sailboat doesn’t make anyone’s job easier), he also has one of the hardest on the show, still having to prove to some viewers that he can follow a preference sheet and get along with a crew.
After leaving Below Deck: Mediterranean, what pulled you back to Below Deck: Sailing Yacht?
I think everyone enjoys a little adventure every now and then. To be candid with you, when Bravo calls you up and says, “Hey, you wanna do another series?,” you say yes. That’s the reality of the situation. But after traveling around for such a long time, I thought it would be a good little option to cruise out to Greece for six weeks, and [then] I could get back to my road trip.
So how does one cook on a sailboat?
When you’re under sail, it’s a challenge to get around. And from the chef’s perspective, it’s particularly difficult because I’m trying to handle objects that are not intended to be stood up, ever — that is not ideal when you’re on a 30-degree lean for hours straight. And then let’s talk about when the captain doesn’t tell you he’s gonna switch over to the other side, and all your shit that was formerly pushed into a corner on the right has now slid its way to the left and you’ve got a disaster on your hands.
Another role is the size. A sailboat is inherently half the size of a super-yacht. You lose square footage because you’ve got to add that lean, sleek line in order to sail. And in order to do that, you lose deck. Now you’ve got stewards working in small spaces; the chef and the steward are gonna have to work in the tightest of space because she’s not gonna have her own stew pantry, most likely. It’s not stabilized, there’s no stabilizers, so when you’re at anchor, you just are out there rocking and rolling.
On Med, you had this up-and-down relationship with Captain Sandy. I know Captain Glenn says he’s a very hands-on captain, involved. What was it like for you to come onto a boat like that?
When I first met Glenn, I found him to be a bit of a softie. Not that kind of hard-ass “I’m the captain.” I’m just like, Okay, this kind of seems cool. Captain Sandy was a true micromanager compared to Glenn. I think you’ll find that I didn’t have to worry about him looking over my shoulder.
It also seems like you’re getting along with Jenna, the chief stew, as well. What was that dynamic like in the beginning?
Any time you meet someone on a boat, in general you just have to take it day by day. That was exactly how I approached meeting Jenna — and everyone on the crew, for that matter. But definitely, she seemed like a pretty cool woman. I look at my work to be the most important thing, and if anything else came along, I might entertain the idea, but first and foremost came providing for my clients.
You’re talking about wanting to focus on the food — was that the main change you wanted to make going into this season, or were there others as well?
There’s only so much you can change about the way a show comes together and the way you presented yourself during the course of those six weeks. I felt [season two] of Below Deck: Med was rough — I learned the ropes the hard way, and it wasn’t particularly fun, particularly for a seasoned yacht chef who thought he knew what he was doing after 10 years. Coming back [on season three], I felt I did really well. I didn’t have any issues with the crew, and it was really more about making sure the food was great for the guests. And I proved I was capable of doing that. So coming back, third time’s the charm. There’s always gonna be hiccups, no matter what, but I would say for the most part, the food was great.
What do you think you learned from this season, as someone who has been a yacht chef for so long?
When you’re working, you’ve got to remember to just work. That’s the most important thing. I do a pretty darn good job of that this season, considering how many other situations I get myself into. [Laughs]
I have to ask: Did you watch the last season of Below Deck: Med?
Yeah, I haven’t seen everything, but I got the gist of it.
What was your take on all the chef drama?
From what I can tell, they’ve had some trouble finding a decent chef on Sandy’s boat — well, and Lee’s boat, so I guess the whole franchise is missing a decent chef at the moment.
Maybe you can be that! On Below Deck: Med you’ve flat-out said, “I know I can be a dick,” basically.
Do you think you’re still a dick?
I think personality traits don’t just disappear. We’re always gonna have that. I think what I didn’t say was that I also have a pretty tender side, and I can be pretty emotional as well — just rounding out the human personality. I can be a dick when I haven’t slept in 40 days and I’ve got guests yelling down my throat about something I’ve poured my heart and soul into. When that’s not the case, I can be a completely different person.
I do think you bring a sort of wisdom to the show, almost like someone to talk people down or be there to sober up the situation.
I feel like having the galley as a place for people to come where they know they can vent a little bit or talk about what’s frustrating them elsewhere, it’s just a very commonplace thing. It’s your kitchen at home: People come, and they talk shit. And that’s basically the exact same thing. It just happens on a boat, and it’s filmed.