C.J. & the Doughboys includes Chef Jamie Adams, on guitar, joined by Greg Hammen, Zack Hammen, Riley Hoskins, and Jack Massey.

A popular Sandy Springs chef can dish up more than gourmet pasta.

Jamie Adams, chef and owner of Italian restaurant il Giallo Osteria and Bar, also displays his creativity on the stage.

Adams, a Sandy Springs resident, runs a chef band called C.J. & the Doughboys. Many of the members have a connection to food. The band plays bluesy rock and funky R&B, said Adams, including songs from the Allman Brothers Band and ZZ Top.

“I had played guitar ever since I was 12 years old,” Adams said. “I played in bands out of high school and did that for a couple years, and then I kind of drifted into the food business.”

C.J. & the Doughboys will play at the upcoming Food That Rocks tasting event in Sandy Springs, taking the stage Saturday, Sept. 25. The band will also play il Giallo’s sixth anniversary event, called Gialloween in honor of the restaurant that had opened Oct. 31, 2015.

The band stands for Chef Jamie (C.J.) and the Doughboys, because we “make a lot of dough around here,” he said.

Adams, who grew up in Buckhead and went to St. Pius X Catholic High School, said his first love was music.

“I just was drawn into it early,” he said. “I made my parents buy me a guitar. I was the youngest of five, and they all listened to a bunch of music that just really electrified me. I wanted to do that.”

But, Adams said he lacked confidence to pursue music as a full-time profession.

“I felt like I wasn’t good enough, and that’s when I started steering into restaurants and I felt very at home,” he said. “The other side of the story is my parents were from New Orleans, and as a family of five, my mother did a lot of cooking. I grew up around all those flavors.”

He would then spend five years in Italy, honing his skills as a chef. Music was put on the back burner.

“I kind of left it behind a good bit and came back to Atlanta, started working with Buckhead Life [Restaurant Group] and had a great career there,” Adams said.

He would spend almost 20 years with Buckhead Life, working first at Pricci and then the former restaurant Veni Vidi Vici, where he would grow his reputation as a top Atlanta chef.

But one night, his friend surprised him by saying he had to run to practice with his chef band. That band was run by Chef Ford Fry. Adams soon joined the musical troupe, playing gigs including Taste of Atlanta and Fry’s “Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival.”

“The chef band has got some history,” Adams said. But over the years, people drifted apart, so Adams revived the band with some new members and a new name.  

The band today includes Adams, on guitar, joined by Greg Hammen, Zack Hammen, Riley Hoskins, and Jack Massey.

Amy Wenk was editor of Reporter Newspapers in 2021-22.