About Me

Tanya Ott, Great American Baking Show, at home


Hi, I’m Tanya! Welcome to Global Bakes, where I celebrate cultures from around the world through the recipes and the history of the people. Sharing and learning about ethnic cuisines connects us in a way that is so special. Please join me on this global adventure!

I have several passions in life.  I am a wife and a mom to some pretty amazing people.  My wonderful, loving, supportive, and goofy husband is my rock and my best friend.  My three kids are such a perfect combination of my husband and me – all the best parts of both of us squashed into these perfect people that I live for! (Okay, maybe a little of my excessive planning and control-freak tendencies and my hubby’s procrastination and funny (not funny!) sense of humor was passed on too!)

My passions also include baking – obviously, or there would be no point to this blog! – art in many forms and mediums, and traveling this wonderful world of ours.  Drawing and painting are relaxing to me and get me to a zen-like state after a crazy day/week/whatever.  I finally learned to not worry about perfection because my art is for me.  Once I got over creating what I thought other people would want to see, I suddenly realized that my artwork was so much better and I started to receive more interest and compliments on it.  But I just don’t always have that creative spark all the time and, because I tend to get bored easily, I jump from medium to medium (watercolor, pen and ink, acrylic, mixed media, you name it!).  I always go back to art as a stress reliever but my interest in it and my subject matter change with the wind!

But, now, baking – that is something that I ALWAYS go back to.  Ideas for new recipes, variations on old ones, classics that I have never made – I’m always longing to be in the kitchen!  I don’t necessarily like to COOK all the time.  (‘Mom, what’s for dinner?’ is a question that I have outlawed in my house!) If I had my way, we would start with dessert or at least focus on the homemade bread before the main course. I COOK because I have to feed my family something other than cookies and cake.  I BAKE because I love to.  One part of baking that I love is the science behind it.  A little of this and a dash of that may work when trying out a new chicken recipe but there is an exactness to baking that intrigues the part of my brain that loves order and discipline. Too much moisture in a recipe and you end up with a goopy mess.  Too much flour and the end result will be a dry brick better suited to being a doorstop.  But, get it right and it’s nirvana.

Then there is the artistry part of it.  Sure, I have made cakes and just slopped on frosting right in the pan.  It tastes just as good and disappears in mere minutes at my house. But baking a showstopper – be it a beautifully and immaculately arranged fruit tart or a perfectly pillow-ey cake with swirls of creamy frosting – makes your bake that much more tempting. And it’s not as hard to achieve as most people think. I just love to create artistry in the kitchen, both aesthetically and tastefully.

Now let’s get into my last passion – TRAVELING!  Seeing this big, beautiful world and experiencing the culture, the people, and the FOOD is what inspires me.  I’ve traveled a lot, some people say, but not nearly enough in my opinion. There is so much more to see and experience.  My bucket list is just a really long list of places that I have never been to and some that I loved so much that I MUST return.  When I am lucky enough to travel, I try to stay away from touristy spots and group tours.  I want to sit and talk with the local people, learn what makes them tick and, of course, eat their food!  I have been known to ask for recipes or visit the kitchen within minutes of arrival in a new restaurant.  I especially love the small, family-run places because they tend to stick with authentic recipes that have been passed down through the generations.

Global Bakes was born of a desire to combine my love of baking and my wanderlust tendencies. Sometimes I will share with you the authentic version of foods from around the globe or just down the street and sometimes I’ll share my own interpretation of those recipes.  Sometimes I’ll make both!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the day my dream came true. The day I got the call that I had been cast to bake in The Tent. Yes, THE tent! The big white one, in the middle of a field in England. Being on the Great American Baking Show was a goal that I set for myself. And I finally made it! I had an amazing time making the show and made the most amazing friends along the way. People ask me all the time if I would do it again and my answer is, without hesitation, YES!




Teaching has become a central part of this blog and my daily life. I hope to inspire people to get into the kitchen and give everyone the confidence needed to create in the kitchen. I hope you enjoy the journey with me!

Comments are closed.