19 December 2023

Riverina Made: Meet Jo Simpson, Narrandera's culinary maven behind Lazidaze dressings with a difference

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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woman with her market stall of dressings

Lazidaze creator Joanne Simpson is based in Narrandera. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Who are you and what is your business? My name is Jo (Joanne) Simpson. My business is Lazidaze, and we’ve been operating in Narrandera for seven years. Lazidaze is a project that is close to my heart, an evolving, revolutionising, multi-purpose dressing. I’m also a food safety supervisor trainer.

Where did you begin? I used to make the salad dressing with a slightly different recipe at a cafe in Narrandera. I tweaked the recipe and added the turmeric, which gave it that beautiful colour. A friend of mine said, ‘I’m doing a market this weekend. Do you want to come?’. It was a huge success. So I jumped online and ordered labels, bottles, and the rest in history.

READ ALSO Riverina Made: Rick’s microgreen groundwork transforming farming with regenerative practices

What do you produce? I produce two products. The Lazidaze salad dressing is a delicious dressing flavoured with turmeric, seeded mustard, poppy seeds and powdered mustard. It’s not just a salad dressing, it’s a magic sauce for everything. It’s equally good on chicken, fish, seafood, beef, rice salad, pasta salad, poached eggs and avocado. It is also gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.

My second product is a Christmas in a Jar Brandy Orange Ham Glaze. I only make that at Christmas time, and the smell of it is so beautiful with the brandy and the oranges. It just smells like Christmas. You can glaze the ham, drizzle it over a sliced ham, or put it on brie cheese.

salad dressing

Lazidaze salad dressing goes with almost anything you want. Photo: Lazidaze.

What do you sell that makes a great gift? My salad dressing is the perfect gift. Many people buy it for their son-in-law, or people they know can’t buy anything. It’s a pretty good value for Christmas.

What would you make if you could do anything? I would start a little factory in Narrandera and try and promote it Australia-wide.

How would you promote the Riverina? I love the Riverina. I am originally from Melbourne, and I moved to Narrandera in 1988. I brought up three boys here. They’re all fishermen. It’s a great spot with the produce, and the area is lovely. When we go down to Melbourne to visit friends and family, we’re always happy to get back here (the Riverina).

ham glaze jars

Christmas in a Jar Brandy Orange Ham Glaze. Photo: Lazidaze.

Coolest local thing you’ve ever bought? I love Seed’s apple and mint jelly and anything from the (Junee) licorice factory.

Where’s your favourite place for a cuppa? Jardine’s Cafe in Narrandera.

Who is another local producer you admire? I have to say the licorice factory. I love to visit and love their products. And they sell a lot of my products, too.

READ ALSO Riverina Made: Zahlanda Gifts, Marlee Creasy’s journey from maternity leave to handmade gift emporium

Learn more about Lazidaze and where to buy the products.

Region Riverina is committed to celebrating our local producers and creatives and encourages everyone to buy locally.

If you’re aware of someone who’s making something amazing, let us know!

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