Once a year, we revisit the year's interviews and commit to picking three books apiece -- the ones that will remain on our personal bookshelves. Let me warn you: We are a diverse group, with interests as varied as hemp seed, the farm bill, Modernist Cuisine and home-brewed kombucha. But even in this crowd, the standouts are obvious every single year.

Here's this year's short list, in no particular order.

Salt, Sugar, Fat

"'The bliss point' ... is the perfect amount of sugar in any food that will appeal to us the most."
-Michael Moss

Eating on the Wild Side

"Unwittingly, we started choosing plants that were higher in sugar, higher in starch and lower in these phytonutrients."
- Jo Robinson

Pati's Mexican Table

"What I find funny is that my American friends now get more excited about the Cinco de Mayo celebrations than even we do."
-Pati Jinich

Pok Pok

"When you're steaming, you can cook a whole meal on one stove at one time."
- Andy Ricker


"I think of cooking as a political act. We have fallen into this place where we are so dependent on others to do everything for us."
- Michael Pollan

One Good Dish

"Things begin to unravel when people don't cook at home. I don't know why"
- David Tanis

Vegetable Literacy

"I grew it, it's my baby, I love it no matter what. And you just eat the ugliest stuff and you're so happy."
-Deborah Madison

Indian Cooking Unfolded

"First of all, curry powder ain't Indian food."
-Raghavan Iyer

The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook

"Sadly in our days of mass production of dairy foods, [real buttermilk] has been lost."
- Diane St. Clair

Anything That Moves

Dana Goodyear

Notes from the Larder

Nigel Slater

A Work in Progress

Rene Redzepi

Special Mention: Cherry Bombe – a new biannual food magazine founded by Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu. It's a new voice that celebrates women in the culinary world.

Polling for this year's book picks included the input of Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host; Sally Swift, managing producer; Jennifer Russell, producer; Jenny Luebke, editor and technical director; Jennifer Larson, production assistant; and Laura Kaliebe, assistant web producer.

Sally Swift
Sally Swift is the managing producer and co-creator of The Splendid Table. Before developing the show, she worked in film, video and television, including stints at Twin Cities Public Television, Paisley Park, and Comic Relief with Billy Crystal. She also survived a stint as segment producer on The Jenny Jones Show.