Model Julija Steponavičiūtė on discovering her heritage through Baltic cuisine

A Lithuanian icon with timeless style and a love for cooking, Julija Steponavičiūtė has been one of our Baltic muses for as long as we can remember. One part Vogue and New York Fashions weeks, one part passion for cooking and connecting people through food.


Julija, how did your journey as a food blogger behind "Kitchen Julie" start and what is your biggest inspiration behind it?

It always fascinated me the way food has the power to connect people. As to someone who appreciates family, the idea of creating warmth through cooking has been appealing since early teenage-hood as far as I can remember. It started out as a means of collecting myself after long months of traveling as a model. It was how I would recharge, meditate in a sense. 

My blog back then was read by probably 5 people, all of whom were my friends. Instagram then happened, I moved back home to Lithuania and Kitchen Julie started to grow into something more than just a hobby.


When cooking, do you ever draw inspiration from your heritage/Baltic roots?

I definitely experienced a time when I was embarrassed by the Lithuanian cuisine. It seemed too fat, too meaty, too potato-y, too sour-cream based. I felt jealous of the French or the Italians. I have since grown out of that miserable train of thought and I am proud to say potatoes and sour cream are some of my favorite ingredients. I finally embrace it and try to learn how to make a traditional meal every year. Last year that was my grandmother‘s yeasted cranberry buns she used to make for Christmas, it was always a hit. 

There‘s something magical about respecting the traditions and knowing you‘ll be able to pass something to the next generation. I must admit though that I definitely do play with adding a modern touch to some old school dishes occasionally.



Julija, how do you connect the worlds of fashion/modeling and culinary? 

I don‘t, I guess. It happens naturally. There‘s Julija-the-model and then there‘s Kitchen Julie and somehow they coexist. Modeling has been a part of my life since I was fourteen which is around the time I also started cooking so they both play a big role in my identity. Perhaps them being so different is what keeps me going. When I‘m tired of modeling, I cook my a** off and vice versa.

What is the greatest cooking tip that you could give to someone? 

Number one tip to anyone who would like to gain more skills in the kitchen is PRACTICE. The more often you cook, the more you fail and the more you keep trying despite failing is what eventually makes the best eggs Benedict. Just keep going.


Fav piece from The Knotty Ones? 

My style is  timeless, quality-not-quantity focused and dynamic. Hence, I absolutely hyped about my black Delčia sweater in Black and I love the collab with Eglė Žiemytė.