Grand Strand native wins Food Network contest


Holy City Pizzeria, the winner of Food Network's Food Court Wars in the episode filmed in he Lowcountry's Citadel Mall, is officially open for business.

The reality competition show was filmed at the Citadel Mall back in June, but aired on Sunday, August 11. Restaurateur hopefuls Topher Pecora and Kacie Fauling had to compete against the potential owners of the Charleston Gourmet Burger Company for a year's worth of free rent at the food court, including money for opening expenses.

Live 5 News, sister station to WMBF News in Charleston, spoke to Topher and Kacie after the episode aired, showing their victory, about the experience and the first few days of business.

"I was shocked at how many people came up and said they had watched the show last night, and they were going to stop by later on to have some pizza. It's been really great to see all the support from the Food Network and all of our fans in Charleston that came to see us," they said.

According to their Facebook page, the couple will be serving hand-tossed pizzas, salads, pastas, and pastries, combining a modern approach to family recipes dating back 150 years.

Topher is the son of Phil Pecora, owner of Toffino's Italian Bakery in the Market Common. Topher grew up in the Myrtle Beach area and played football for Socastee High.