Each year a slew of cookbooks and culinary-credos hit the presses, filling shelves with the collected wisdom of our food industry heroes. Some are narrow in scope—an ingredient, a technique, a chewy personal tell-all—while others attempt (and succeed) at swallowing a tradition, life, national pantry, or concept in its intricate entirety. And while almost all of them are worthy of a place in life’s collected library, the precious real estate of the professional bookshelf requires a bit of personalized, picky editing. So we’ve narrowed down our top picks: cookbooks, memoirs, and culinary guides of all shapes and sizes to fill stomachs, inspire imaginations, and prepare food industry pros for the inevitable challenges and changes of the upcoming culinary year. And for when things (inevitably?) go wrong, we have a list of our top drinks books of 2011 to help you update your cellars, revamp your bar programs, and fill your cups for the year to come.