January 18, 2017
2 mins read

Attention! The latest trend in the food world for 2017 has arrived! Yes, trend-following foodies — this is the one you’ve been waiting for: Three-ingredient recipes! Y’all may applaud. I’ll wait.

Now that you’ve caught your breath, here’s the premise: You don’t need to waste hours preparing fresh, wholesome, multiple-ingredient meals. No! That was so 2016. All you need is a couple of minutes and three simple ingredients. Voilà. You have created a culinary masterpiece with just three ingredients. Genius!

The 904 has really made dramatic strides cuisine-wise in the last decade. When I first moved to Northeast Florida 13 years ago, I was totally shocked by the 1980s feel to the cuisine. Shopping for food felt as if I was in a great culinary backwater. Just trying to find simple ingredients, such as gumbo filé or chipotles in adobo became an epic search. At the Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island, we would have a great majority of our fresh produce air-mailed to us and any specialty meats would be shipped from Atlanta or Orlando. And don’t even ask me about restaurants, ’cause it was still a fried seafood kind of place.

Fast-forward to 2017. Foodies are everywhere; farmers markets are community events; you can’t even begin to sample all the local craft beer or distilled booze. And good luck attempting to decide what your favorite restaurant is this month or, even tougher, your favorite ethnic cuisine. What an amazing awakening.

The exciting fact that eating for entertainment and pleasure has replaced the old “food is fuel” mentality warms my soul. Therefore, I’m exceptionally disappointed with the new three-ingredient trend. It’s dragging us back down the slippery slope of the erroneous adage of “If it’s easy, it must be good.”

The worst part of this ghastly new trend is that it promotes convenience over freshness, nutrition, seasonality and flavor. “Flavor be damned” might as well be the motto for this misguided idea.

Here’s a sample I recently saw: Hummus and cucumber crostini. Sounds nice until you see all the ingredients in store-bought crackers. And just peruse the preservatives in manufactured hummus. The only fresh thing in this three-ingredient dish is the cucumber.

How about a three-ingredient caramel apple tart with frozen grocery-store pastry, bottled caramel sauce (good luck pronouncing half the ingredients), salt and apples? BTW, that’s four — but do you see my point?

This trend is just another corporate marketing scheme to sell nutritionally vapid, flavorless junk. If convenience and speed are your main objectives, you might as well nuke frozen food.

Instead of following misleading corporate marketing schemes, let’s use wholesome, fresh foods that actually taste delicious! Here’s my version of a three-ingredient recipe worth making.  OK, maybe it has more than three, but they’re all worth the effort.


  • 1/2 Bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 Tbsp. red onion, diced
  • 1/4 Bunch parsley
  • 1 Ounce red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 3 Ounces vegetable oil
  • 3 Scallions
  • Salt to taste


  1. Place all ingredients except oil in a blender. Purée.
  2. Slowly blend in oil to emulsify. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. Serve with your favorite grilled meat.

Until we cook again,

Contact Chef Bill Thompson, owner of Amelia Island Culinary Academy in Fernandina Beach, at to find inspiration and get you Cheffed Up!

Folio is your guide to entertainment and culture around and near Jacksonville, Florida. We cover events, concerts, restaurants, theatre, sports, art, happenings, and all things about living and visiting Jax. Folio serves more than two million readers across Jacksonville and Northeast Florida, including St. Augustine, The Beaches, and Fernandina.

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