1. High Heat by Waldy Malouf and Melissa Clark. Chef Malouf of New York City's Beacon proves that almost anything, even angel food cake, tastes better when it's grilled or roasted.

2. The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock. Catfish stew, she-crab soup and other dishes from culinary icon Lewis and Peacock, her protégé.

3. The Cheese Board by the Cheese Board Collective. The secrets to perfect bread and pastries from staffers at Berkeley, California's beloved co-op.

—Salma Abdelnour