The May issue of Southern Living that hits newsstands Friday will include Charleston among the “10 Tastiest Towns in the South.”

The magazine’s editors identified the most compelling food destinations across the region and allowed consumers to vote for their favorites once per day from Jan. 10 to Feb. 28.

Durham, N.C., received the most votes. Editors recognized Charleston for its hyper-attention to local sourcing and indigenous heirloom ingredients.

Chefs Sean Brock of Husk and Mike Lata of FIG and The Ordinary are cited as the city’s star tastemakers. The magazine also singled out Butcher & Bee, Two Borough’s Larder and The Macintosh while recommending sipping on a barrel-aged Manhattan at the bar at Husk.

Editors identified the top 10 towns based on food as a cultural identity, growth of a culinary-minded community, diverse cuisine at a variety of prices, local and sustainable food practices, hot chefs on the rise and an abundance of buzz-worthy food events.

The top 10 towns are (in voting order): Durham, N.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; Asheville, N.C.; Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Charleston; Greenville; Louisville, Ky.; Miami; and New Orleans.

Barging in

BP is doing more prep work ahead of a proposed expansion at its Cooper River chemical plant.

The company is seeking the OK from the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge about a 17-acre swath of a creek near its property. It needs to deepen the waterway to accommodate barges loaded with “large pieces of equipment” from the Port of Charleston, according to the permit application.

The petrochemical giant is considering some big-ticket but secretive improvements for the manufacturing site. It would only say that the proposed upgrades “would help improve the plant’s energy-efficiency in support of the longer-term future of the business.”

The British-owned company is talking with county officials about tax breaks and other incentives in the event the investments are approved.

BP confirmed in an email that the Grove Creek dredging permit is tied to the proposed expansion.

“The actual dredging will only be done if the project is approved,” a spokesman said.

The 35-year-old chemical plant is on a mostly undeveloped 6,000-acre tract of forestland between the Cooper River and Cainhoy Road, just below the Nucor Berkeley steel mill. The plant makes a white powdery substance called purified terephthalic acid, or PTA, which is used to make polyester, plastic bottles and other products. According to a publication posted on BP’s website, the South Carolina site had 200 employees in 2012 and was churning out about 2.8 billion pounds of the commodity chemical each year.

The plant was opened in 1978 by Amoco, which was purchased by British Petroleum in early 1999. The last major expansion was completed in 1997, when a $300 million manufacturing unit came online.

Tech of the town

It’s spring, and the techies are blooming.

Over the weekend, the computer crowd concentrated around the College of Charleston’s TD Arena for the Dig South Interactive Festival.

And on Thursday night, they’ll take to the streets along the harbor for the seventh-annual Charleston Digital Corridor iFive:K.

Starting around 6:30 p.m., hundreds of runners will take off from the Charleston Maritime Center and make their way over to White Point Garden and back. The race, which supports the CDC’s scholarship fund, is capped at 800 participants and is sold out.

After last year’s race drew the ire of downtown residents and visitors who found themselves trapped by the road closures, Corridor director Ernest Andrade wants everyone to be forewarned this go-round.

He also noted that for the first time the event is entirely sponsored by CDC member companies and that more than half of the registered runners are employees of those tech companies.

If the growth trends continue, Andrade said, the iFive:K might soon be exclusively for the city’s tech community.

“There’s a good possibility that it’ll be a closed event,” he said.

Room at the inn

Luxurious accommodations are back in Summerville. Privately owned Woodlands Mansion, which was a Mobil Five-Star, AAA Five Diamond Award-winning resort and inn before it closed last September and was sold to local businessman Tom Limehouse, is once again offering overnight stays.

“With the high demand for luxury accommodations in Charleston area, I am pleased to announce the addition of lodging availability at Woodlands Mansion,” Limehouse said.

Limehouse reopened the secluded 18-room Parsons Road inn on 11 wooded acres in March for corporate events and weddings.