The 3 Magic Ingredients That Will Change Your Life

Jun 5, 2019 | Cooking Tips

All too often when making dinner, or cooking anything, we can fall into a trap of overdoing it. We keep adding more and more ingredients to cover up our own insecurities about our cooking. Or, we do it because we think that it is the way to make food taste better. It isn’t.

Today day, we are going to look at three magical ingredients that when used in tandem and with reckless abandon will absolutely change the way we cook, eat, and dare I say, live our lives. What could they be?

This is…

The 3 Magic Ingredients That Will Change Your Life


One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a Chef, and I would say the thing that defines my cooking style is “less is more”. I believe that it is better to let the food speak for itself. Use minimal ingredients, of the best quality, combined with good technique and care, and you will have a winning dish every time.

With that mindset, I came across a combination of three magical ingredients that changed everything. Olive oil, salt, and pepper. I know, I know, it sounds way too simple and way too obvious. But, that’s kind of the point. It is simple. It is obvious.

Olive Oil Salt and Pepper


Whether cooking chicken, fish, steak, pork, or roasting vegetables, these three ingredients are the secret to success. Seriously! You can add a fresh herb like thyme or rosemary to the mix or even a squeeze of lemon but it isn’t even necessary. The key is that all the ingredients you are using, including the olive oil, salt, and pepper need to be really good quality.

When cooking with minimal ingredients, and approaching food from a simplistic perspective, there is no where to hide low quality. We can’t bury poor tasting ingredients. Everything has to be able to stand on it’s own.

Really what I’m talking about is that it is important to buy good quality olive oil. It is important to buy good quality salt. And yes, of course, it is important to buy good quality pepper. So what does this look like?

Olive Oil –

Good quality olive oil generally doesn’t have a grocery store brand name on it. In fact, we might be hard-pressed (no pun intended) to find it at the grocery store at all. Good quality olive oil can generally be found at gourmet grocery stores and specialty olive oil stores. Having said that, Costco has a pretty good brand that I have started to see other places. It’s what I used before I discovered Picholine Olive Oil which is all I use now. (full disclosure: Picholine Olive Oil is a sponsor of my Facebook live show but only because I love their product)

Salt –

There are a million types of salt out there. Different colours, from different parts of the world, in different shapes and textures. Most of it is a rip off. All you need is a good quality kosher or sea salt. Do not use iodized table salt. In fact, throw it away. The iodine that is added to the salt gives it a harsh flavour and it doesn’t dissolve evenly.

Sea salt and Kosher salt can be found at the grocery store and are much better quality. They have a less harsh flavour than iodized table salt and dissolve evenly for a more consistant taste.

Pepper –

Just don’t buy pre-ground pepper. Get a pepper mill, or bust the peppercorns up in small batches in a blender. Fresh cracked pepper is 1000 x better than pre-ground.


How to use Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper

The big secret here is that we want to be very generous with our olive oil, salt and pepper. Go crazy!

Vegetables –

Any vegetable or combination of vegetables can be tossed with a generous amount of olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted in a 400°f oven for 35-45 minutes. They should be flipped about halfway through cooking, and then pan should be placed on the center rack of the oven. The vegetables will develop a natural sweetness which is complemented by the three magic ingredients that we added.

Chicken –

For a whole chicken we want to pat the skin dry with paper towel first. Then rub the whole thing inside and out with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put it in the oven on 400°F for about 1 hour and 15 minutes depending on the size (170°F in the thigh). Flip the chicken twice during cooking. It will come out with crisp brown skin and tender meat.

Fish –

Lay fish on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and cook on 400°f for 12-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

Get the idea??

Conclusion –

This may seem too simple. Almost like a copout. We are hardly doing anything to the food. But I have to tell you, it took years for me to learn this. I know that sounds crazy but it takes a lot of confidence to approach food this way.

All I will say is that you should try it. Maybe throw a few sprigs of thyme or rosemary in there but keep it as simple as possible. You won’t believe how good simplicity can taste.

Thanks for reading.

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