He’s been a yacht chef for more than a decade, traveling around the globe and cooking for an ultra-high end clientele. He’s also made his way to television, starring on Bravo’s hit series, Below Deck as chef of a superyacht crew. When on land, though, Chef Adam Glick is most comfortable in his “land yacht” Sprinter van, embarking on outdoor culinary adventures and enjoying the natural beauty of the U.S. with his trusty cattle dog, Tex, and helping promote one of his favorite foods: JAZZ apples.
We caught up with Glick on his Jazz Apples Adventure Tour stop in Denver, Colo.
How did you get your start as a chef on yachts?
My first time on boats was terrifying, it honestly made me rethink doing it because I got so seasick. The first week, I actually couldn’t work, couldn’t function; I was wrapped around my toilet. But at some point, anyone can overcome seasickness. If you push through and persevere and spend more time on the water, all bodies get accustomed to anything and everything.
Do you have a favorite place you’ve been on one of your yacht trips?
One of my favorite places is when we’re out in the middle of nowhere in the Pacific. Another favorite time is when I was part of a crew to deliver a sailboat from San Diego to Sydney. We had to stop in all these incredible places along the way, the micro-islands like Fiji, Samoa, and many that barely have a name. Incredibly beautiful.
When you’re cooking on yachts in different locations around the world, do you strive to use local/regional ingredients?
The best way to describe this is how I provision for the yacht. I arrive at a location, call the provisioner and buy everything under the sun, from Baked Lay’s potato chips and Frosted Flakes to local produce. At night for the first course at dinner, most guests are going to want the local micro parsnip. As a yacht chef, I not only have to make sure and stock everyday necessities for the average, everyday American, but also all of the local high-end foods that can only be accessed in that region. Then I can really step dinners up to next level.
How did you connect with JAZZ apples? And what makes them so good?
My involvement came from an old relationship of writing recipes with the [JAZZ] marketing director, Brock. We’ve known each other for a while and decided that JAZZ apples should be marketed as the “adventure apple.” As far as my lifestyle goes, I live for adventure. It’s about backpacks, hikes, backyard adventures. I live in my van for months at a time, so I need things that are durable—and apples can last a long time. And people love my lifestyle.
There are 30 to 40 varieties of apples out there, and I’ve spent years using different varieties. One of the best things about JAZZ apples is their versatility: they’re great raw, pureed, cooked, as apple butter. They’re 50 percent tangy, 50 percent sweet, with a thin skin so you don’t have to fight eating it. They’re also dense and really juicy; they’re the most well-rounded apple. They’re also available across the country, so are easy to find.
You travel around in your “land yacht” [Sprinter van] and hashtag #vanlife on your Instagram pics. What are your favorite things about van life?
My yacht life led to this life. The fact that I’ve been living in a cedar closet in boats for the last decade led me to live in a cedar closet in a van for the next decade. [Glick’s van is lined with cedar wood.] The transition was seamless to go from yachting to van life. Not only that, the van was a necessity. At 23, when I was broke and didn’t know when my next yacht job was coming, it became a necessity to have a vehicle as a home base. [Glick is 33 now.]
What are your top go-to ingredients that you always have in your van for cooking?
Apples, of course, are always a nutritious snack [big smile and laugh]. Traveling in a van and getting older, you have to change your lifestyle. Eating healthier is a big thing for me because I don’t want to get caught up pulling over at every gas station and buying junk. I like foods that are healthy and durable.
I do a lot of personal cooking as an adventure chef. I come up with recipes for the outdoors and do videos of them, and I have to carry all of that food. So, I plan my recipes and stock up. My food staples are bananas, apples, potatoes, rice, things that last a long time. I also have things like dried rice and grain packs with flavorings that you just add water to. For my recipes, I’ll have the starch and veggie, then I go out and catch the fish. I have a super-powerful propane stove; it’s strong enough to deep-fry a turkey!
Could you share some gourmet camping cooking tips?
I am all about utilizing a campfire whenever possible. I’m an Eagle Scout. It’s in my blood to want to cook over fire. When I became a chef, I found cooking on a stove can get boring, so let’s ramp it up a notch. If I can make a five-star meal over a fire in the middle of nowhere with few or no utensils or reception to look up a recipe, you at home should be able to cook for your kids. No excuses!
I’m really passionate about cooking, and I think that knowing how to cook is dying out. I want to bring back the tradition of my grandpa when he cooked outdoors. I think it’s human nature to want to be outside and cook over a fire with family and friends.
We can’t resist asking about your sweet dog, Tex, who you rescued while traveling in Texas. Do you cook special meals for him?
I’m learning training by hand-feeding because when you do this, dogs grow a huge amount of loyalty. I will do an evening bowl for him, and I’m not ashamed to hold his dog food in my hand. I’m not afraid to feed him human food, though. Cheese, meats…he’s a dog! He was probably scavenging for the past year living as a stray, so I don’t feel badly feeding him this way sometimes
Watch Glick on the new season of “Below Deck” on Bravo, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. And check out some of his yummy JAZZ apple recipes below:
- Blackened Fish Tacos with JAZZ Apple + Cabbage Slaw
- JAZZ Apple Grilled Cheese on Sourdough
- Blackened Snapper with JAZZ Apples and Mango Relish