balls of fried potatoes with lemon, rosemary and dripping sauce

Balls of fried potatoes with lemon, rosemary and yogurt sauce © Zaira Zarotti / Offset


Five hot dogs with different garnishes © Con Poulos / Offset

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term “junk food” as “Food that has low nutritional value, typically produced in the form of packaged snacks needing little or no preparation.” Going by this definition, junk food isn’t only for people who are unhealthy; it’s also for lazy people. But is there such a thing as decadent, meticulously prepared junk food? Can junk food be, well, sophisticated?

In honor of National Junk Food Day, we wanted to challenge the “junk food” stigma, even if that means taking on the Oxford University Press. As evidence for our case, we combed through the high-end, editorial food photography in the Offset collection and pulled together our favorites. For your consumption, we present pizza with peas and prosciutto, deep fried eggs and gelato sandwiches.

In 2003, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey caused quite the stir when he said of his children, “I want them to know what junk food is about.” Other chefs were miffed at the notion that he wouldn’t refine their palettes from young age, but what they failed to realize is this: junk food and fine dining are not mutually exclusive.

The relatively obscure 20th century writer Ernestine Ulmer is remembered for two perfect sentences: “Life Is Uncertain. Eat dessert first.” Decades later, her logic still stands. Happy National Junk Food Day to all.


Deep fried eggs garnished with purple flowers © Ariana Gillrie / Offset


Chocolate dipped pretzels © James Ransom / Offset


Seasoned homemade potato chips with beer © Anna Williams / Offset


Chocolate gelato sandwich on a bun with whipped cream © Anna Williams / Offset


Chocolate ice cream cones © Leigh Beisch / Offset

English pea, proscuitto and burrata pizza with pesto sauce.

Pizza with peas, prosciutto, cheese and pesto sauce © Teri Lyn Fisher / Offset



Cinnamon-sugar dusted doughnuts with a side of strawberry syrup © Con Poulos / Offset

Offset is a curated collection of commercial and editorial photography and illustration from award-winning artists around the world. Photographers who wish to join the Offset artist community are welcome to apply here.