The Ginger Pig Food Truck and our Asian street style food has all been inspired by my time living and studying in Beijing, China during my college years. While my host family cooked dinner, I would write down the ingredients and methodology, so I could re-create these wonderful recipes for my family and friends back home.


I lived with the Zhang family near the Beijing zoo during college. Zhang Baba, Nalu (my Chinese mother), their daughter, Zhang Na, and I would cram into a tiny kitchen and cook together as a team. Nalu taught me to grind pork with a cleaver and make potstickers from scratch. Nalu also taught me to make Chinese Borscht, which was one of the original inspirations for The Ginger Pig.

Nalu took me to a Chinese market and helped me pick out a wok and cleaver to bring back to the States. She lit a fire under my wok (and me) to show how much flavor is possible with simple, fresh ingredients.

It was during my third trip to China that I really began to develop my palate. I was 21 years old, backpacking and subsisting on street food throughout Asia. I spent time in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Manila, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and New Delhi. I’ve never eaten better food.
— Natascha
Natascha Hess’s Chinese Host Family’s Kitchen filled with dumplings and at a street market in rural Kunming, China.

Natascha Hess’s Chinese Host Family’s Kitchen filled with dumplings and at a street market in rural Kunming, China.


It is in Beijing where I fell in love with ginger. My products contain ginger not only for the taste, but for the many health benefits of this magical root.


Back to the University of Wisconsin (Go Badgers!), I played ice hockey and met Steve Hess. We married and moved to Colorado, which has been our home for almost 20 years. When I wasn’t practicing law and working in sports broadcast TV, I was playing with recipes based on those from my Chinese host family, along with working on other recipes inspired by my travels throughout Asia. In March 2015, Steve and I started really focusing on those recipes and telling our friends about our burning desire to own a food truck.

One night, while dining out, we met local celebrity chef Carrie Baird of Top Chef fame. When I told her about my Asian street food truck dream (and lack of formal training), she invited me to intern and learn the ropes in her kitchen. Carrie and I have been close ever since; she actually worked on the truck for four months to get us launched.

The Ginger Pig name came about as I was telling my best friend from law school about the concept of healing people with ginger and using ginger as therapy. She mentioned that she had a pig named Ginger. We both knew in that moment that our truck would be called The Ginger Pig.

Steve and I are thrilled and honored every day to share Asian street style food with people in Colorado. We hope you enjoy our wide array of fresh menu items, and simple ingredients as much as we enjoy creating them for you.

Ganbei (“Cheers”),

Natascha + Steve