Meet the Team

Will Samuels

Co-Owner
Will takes pride in welcoming new and returning customers to Pizza Nola.

A New Orleans native, Will grew up and still lives in the 70124 zip code that makes Pizza Nola home. Will has served active roles in New Orleans' tourism and hospitality industries including working for five years with the city’s premiere independent record label Basin Street Records.

Following Hurricane Katrina, Will opened, developed and then sold a popular French Quarter pizzeria and he is thrilled to be in Lakeview where he can bring a personal connection to his neighborhood community.

Jennifer Samuels

Co-Owner
Jennifer brings a lifetime of cooking and baking expertise to Pizza Nola. From creating the recipes for Pizza Nola and for Bawk, to gelato making, King Cake baking, cake decorating, healthy meal catering, event coordinating, nutritional consulting, and overall brilliance in the kitchen, there is virtually nothing that is beyond Jennifer’s reach.

Most recently Jennifer began serving as Associate Team Leader for Whole Foods Market Uptown, bringing her culinary expertise to the Prepared Foods department. In the meantime, Jennifer continues to cultivate new recipes and new ideas to make Pizza Nola and Bawk’s food fresher, tastier, and healthier.

Leonardo Garcia

Kitchen Manager
Leonardo Garcia arrived in New Orleans from New York where he spent 16 years in busy Manhattan and Long Island Pizzerias honing his skill as a master NY-style hand-tossed pizza maker.

Originally from Argentina, Lenny has been with Pizza Nola since even before Day One, and he has brought to the restaurant a pizza-making style that is unique to New Orleans. To watch him create a pizza is watching a master at work- strong, fast fingers, expertly manipulating the dough, spooning a copious amount of handmade sauce, topping with our original blend of mixed shredded cheeses, and topped with fresh vegetables and tasty meats.

While waiting for your pizza, Lenny will bake up some hand-made garlic knots, crostinis for our Spinach & Artichoke Dip and oversized bread for our sandwiches, mix up a batch of our house-made salad dressings or roll some homemade meatballs made with fresh ground beef and turkey.

A true leader in the kitchen, Lenny takes great pride in the food that we serve and is delighted when our guests enjoy his creations, whether it’s their first or fiftieth visit.

Edwin Walton

Breakfast Chef
Edwin brings 10 years of experience to Pizza Nola’s weekend breakfasts.

With a Culinary Degree with Honors in Applied Science from Houston Community College, Chef Edwin has worked with recipe development, back of house management, policies and procedures, and with food preparation on the grill, sauté, garde manger, and saucier stations in hotels and restaurants throughout his native New Orleans.

Chef Edwin brings a cheerful smile and a friendly face to mornings at Pizza Nola where he prides himself in the made-from-scratch recipes that make Bawk the go-to spot for a hot, fresh, Nola-style family-friendly breakfast.