A Feast for the Ears: Faturday Omaha Highlights the Local Food SceneFeb 01, 2022 11:30AM ● By Niz Proskocil
Photo by Bill Sitzmann
What’s better than Sunday Funday? Saturday Faturday! Like many Omahans, Dave Zorko and two of his friends got together every Saturday for many years to catch up over lunch. It also was the day he’d take a break from the lighter, leaner meals he ate during the week.
“Saturday lunch became Faturday lunch because we are eating big, epic delicious things that we’re not going to typically have often,” Zorko said. “We’d end up at these great local places. We would eat these wonderful foods, and then we’d end up talking about it for an hour.”
Those food-filled Saturdays led Zorko and longtime pals Sam Rocha and TJ to start a podcast in September 2018 about their local food adventures, fittingly called Faturday Omaha. Three-plus years, dozens of podcasts, and thousands of calories later, the Faturday crew has steadily built a following throughout the city and beyond.
The trio bring a passion for all things food and drink to the podcast, along with their own diverse perspectives. Weekly episodes feature their take on what’s good to eat and where to find it, presented in a way that’s entertaining and informative.
Zorko is passionate about food, especially local food. He loves connecting with others who appreciate it too.
It’s a far cry from his weekday life, in which Zorko works as an information services manager at National Indemnity Co., a downtown Omaha insurance firm. He manages teams of programmers and quality assurance analysts who build and maintain computer programs.
Faturday is a labor of love. The cost of meals, gear, and other expenses come out of their own pockets. Zorko spends about 15 hours a week producing the podcast, managing its website, updating social media accounts, and planning future episodes. He doesn’t have a broadcasting background, but knows his way around recording equipment. Faturday doesn’t accept payment from businesses in return for reviews, but is willing to consider sponsorships or collaborate with organizations.
What sets Faturday apart from other food podcasts, Zorko said, is a focus on local eateries and consistent quality content. What also resonates with audiences is hearing from chefs and restaurant staff about what they like to eat.
Damien Wise of Omaha thinks part of Faturday’s appeal is the hosts’ humorous banter and their knowledge of the metro area’s diverse dining options. “They have made some great relationships with the local chefs and restaurant owners,” Wise noted. “Faturday has never steered me astray when searching for great new local eats.”
Others have taken notice too. After the podcast caught the attention of KIOS 91.5 FM, the local NPR affiliate, it expanded into a radio show in August 2021. “It was such a wonderful thing. I was so humbled that they liked us enough to give us an hour’s worth of airtime every week,” Zorko said. The show airs Saturdays at 2 p.m.
Faturday has branched out in additional ways, too, including recording live from festivals and eating challenges. Other doors that have opened include a partnership with KMTV Channel 3. In fall 2021, the station’s website started featuring a monthly Faturday Food Finds article written by Zorko.
He’s grateful for new opportunities and the continued support and feedback from fans. “I love it when somebody enjoys a food that we recommended and tells me about it,” Zorko said. “That makes me happy.”
He also finds joy in giving back to the community. Faturday has helped raise donations for Together Inc., a local nonprofit working to reduce food insecurity, and they’ve joined other food content creators on a charitable effort called Foodies of Omaha Donate.
Although Faturday has grown considerably, the trio’s desire to share good food and good conversation remains. “We definitely enjoy each other’s company,” Zorko said. “To experience food and conversation inside of a welcoming restaurant together is what we truly enjoy.”
Visit faturdayomaha.com for more information.
This article originally appeared in the February/March 2022 issue of B2B Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.