I think you only need a few basic things to cook a meal that is really tasteful. For me, it’s oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and stock. Actually, that’s it, because I want to keep the taste of all the good ingredients like vegetables, fish or meat alive. But since these are the things I use for nearly every dish (I mean, not stock for a salad, not vinegar for cooked potatoes – well, I am thinking about trying that sometime…), I am really concerned about their quality and taste. So it’s olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, dark pepper and vegetable stock. To me it really makes a difference, if you use e. g. black peppercorns instead of white powdered pepper. And if I want a special taste, I add herbs or spicery, garlic, soy sauce, butter or lemon. So these five little helpers make cooking for me really easy.
PS: Do you know about the fact, that a tiny bit of salt pushes the taste of a fresh fruit? I also like the combination of salt and sugar, like chocolate with sea salt. And I use to put a tiny bit of sugar to some hearty dishes (e. g. gravy). And… I have to admit, I am really bad with that: I can eat marble cake with camembert or Duplo with BiFi. Or salt sticks or even peanut puffs with Nutella. ;-)