"Fireman Mike" Gowland to Take Over Pizza Nola's Kitchen

Jazz Fest favorite and “Chopped” champion to offer Cajun and Creole specialties

Contact: Will Samuels (504) 872-0731

NEW ORLEANS, LA- March 9, 2018– Will Samuels, co-owner of Lakeview’s Pizza Nola, announced today he has reached an agreement with “Fireman Mike” Gowland to take over the restaurant’s kitchen following Pizza Nola’s final date of Sunday, March 11, 2018.

“I am so delighted that our kitchen will now be in the hands of a great local chef, first responder and celebrity,” Samuels said. He continued, “Mike has done so much for this city’s food, tourism and residents, and I am proud to turn over the keys knowing what he will be able to continue to do for the neighborhood and community.”

Since 2001, “Fireman Mike’s” Jazz Fest food tent has been a favorite destination featuring Alligator Sauce Piquante, Shrimp & Grits, and Mike’s legendary Shrimp, Sausage & Okra Gumbo. Since 2015, he has also maintained a booth in the Jazz Fest Kids Area with fresh corn on the cob, a Louisiana Strawberry & Yogurt Trifle and vanilla cupcakes. In 2012, while still working at the firehouse, Gowland won an All American-themed episode of the Food Network’s hit show Chopped, beating a New York caterer and two Las Vegas restaurateurs while cooking hot dogs, lobster, toaster pastries and spinach. In 2014, he won first place on an episode of Destination America’s Deep Fried Masters with a deep-fried po-boy. Most recently the head chef at Rocksy’s diner in Fat City, Gowland has cooked at local favorites such as Bozo’s, Austin’s and Carmine’s. In 2012, Gowland retired as Captain from the New Orleans Fire Department where he served for almost 22 years (and was the cover model of the 2012 “Fire Fighters Look Hot” annual fundraising calendar).

Gowland’s menu is still in the works, although he plans to offer Cajun and Creole favorites and to create specialty pizzas. He hopes to have the to-be-named restaurant open in time for Jazz Fest. In describing the menu concept Gowland said, “Our family is very used to shared family-style eating whether it’s at home or at the Festival. We’re hoping to bring this ‘shared eating’ experience to the restaurant. Pizza is usually one’s first introduction to shared eating but expect a few surprises and know that we’ll be bringing the sweets.”

Last week Samuels announced that Pizza Nola will be closing after seven-and-a-half years of serving the Lakeview community with pizza, breakfast, gelato and special events such as the annual Sharknado parties and Twelfth Night Carnival Kickoff events. Even though Pizza Nola will be closing, Samuels assures that he will have a “major presence” with king cakes during Carnival, 2019.

For more information on Fireman Mike, follow “FiremanMikesKitchen” on Facebook and Fireman Mike on Twitter. For more information on Pizza Nola call 504-872-0731, visit PizzaNola.com, and follow @PizzaNola on Twitter and Instagram.