Ursula Winnington

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Ursula Winnington about 1975

Ursula Winnington , also Ursula Wittbrodt-Winnington (born August 8, 1928 ) is a German cookbook author; her books reached a total circulation of over a million. As the “cooking queen of the East”, she achieved great fame in the GDR with her column Love, Fantasy and Culinary Art in Das Magazin .


After her family's home in Rostock was bombed out in 1942, Winnington moved to live with relatives in the countryside. Since many people had to be looked after on their farm every day, she helped in the kitchen at a young age and discovered her passion for cooking.

In 1949 she graduated as a state-certified farmer at the Agricultural College in Rostock, and between 1951 and 1954 she studied agriculture at the Humboldt University in Berlin . In 1959 she received her doctorate. agr. at the University of Rostock . During this time she met Hans Wittbrodt , whom she married in 1952.

She made her first experiences with writing texts at the Landwirtschaftliche Zentralblatt , where she worked between 1954 and 1964 as editor and later editor-in-chief . From 1964 she wrote as a journalist for the NBI , Horizont and Für Dich . There she wrote articles with humorous titles like broilers versus blue knights and better healthy and slim than stout and sick . From 1964 to 1966 Winnington worked as a freelancer for the GDR television network, including as a game master for the live quiz show Gewußt und Gewonnen . In the seventies and eighties she also worked for the magazine Guter Rat and as a columnist for Sybille .

At the end of the 1950s she got to know and love Asian cuisine on a trip to India . In 1969 she married Alan Winnington , who brought his knowledge of Chinese cuisine to the marriage, and together they made further trips abroad. Through these impressions and experiences, she specialized in recipes from all over the world, which were gratefully received in the GDR, which was characterized by limited travel. She wrote several special issues for the publishing house for women , such as tea in every season or cuisine from other countries , in which she presented exotic recipes of this kind. In 1981 she also contributed to the television program You and He and Thousand Questions , and in 1987 she was a guest as a television cook for a number of episodes at Household-Allerlei Praktisch Serviert (HAPS). In 1977 she also published her first cookbook , which was to be followed by more.

From 1965 Winnington wrote columnist articles in Das Magazin . Later, from 1976 to 1991, she wrote the page love, fantasy and culinary art for Das Magazin every month "and over the years has become something like the Biolek of the GDR". On the page, she described not only recipes, but also cultural and historical anecdotes and information about the aphrodisiac effects of food , initially under the pseudonym Magnus , later under her own name . The pages had headings such as Basil Overturns Virgins , Sleep Aid for Gladiators, or Sweet Bedfellow ; mostly a small illustration by Horst Hussel adorned the sheet. Here, too, the recipes presented came from kitchens all over the world.

“They read like orgiastic excursions into the world: asparagi à la milanese, coq au vin , chicken à la Gongbao - the words alone sounded like forbidden fruits, smelled of sin. Ursula Winnington's recipes, which […] appeared on the pink pages of the 'Magazin', were like a visa to the West for everyone, a sumptuous temptation to cross borders, escape from the republic in a frying pan. […] The [readers] collected the pink pages, they at least brought the denied world into their pots - with Winningtons Bouillabaisse one was also in Dresden and Rostock a bit in Marseille . "

- Jutta Voigt , preface to love, imagination and culinary art. Klatschmohn Verlag, 2000.

In 1995 Winnington opened Gecko in Berlin , a shop for exotic furniture and gifts from all over the world. Klatschmohn Verlag has reissued three of their most popular books since 1992, and in 2008 they published another book Liebe, Lust und Leckereien . Today Ursula Winnington lives near Berlin .

Press reviews

"Your [...] column 'Love, Fantasy and Cooking' was a collector's item and as coveted as the always scarce garlic."

- Klatschmohn Verlag

“The Winnington was full of fantasy. So she cooked Chinese dishes without soy sauce and bamboo. 'We took Erwa spices and yellow peppers from Bulgaria for this', the 76-year-old smiles. From coriander, cumin, cinnamon powder, peppercorns, nutmeg, clove powder and cardamom, she conjured up a sharp-smelling 'Indian' spice mixture. "

- Chervil helps Grandpa to the Bärbel. In: Berliner Kurier. October 7, 2004


  • Small cookbook for children. Children's book publisher, 1977.
  • A body and stomach book. Verlag für die Frau, 1981.
  • Little book of spices for children. Children's book publisher, 1984.
  • Love, imagination and culinary art. Berliner Verlag, 1985.
  • Cook according to the time of year. Verlag für die Wirtschaft, 1991.
  • Cooking for paradise. edition q, 1991.
  • A body and stomach book. edition q, 1991.
  • Aphrodite's gifts. Eulenspiegel Verlag, 1991.
  • Cooking for paradise. Klatschmohn Verlag, 1999.
  • Aphrodite's gifts. Klatschmohn Verlag, 1999.
  • Love, imagination and culinary art. Klatschmohn Verlag, 2000.
  • Love, lust and goodies. Klatschmohn Verlag, 2008.

Individual evidence

  1. Exotic and erotic - Ursula Winnington writes according to the old recipe for success. In: Berliner Kurier . January 24, 1993.
  2. Chervil helps Grandpa to go to Bärbel. In: Berliner Kurier. October 7, 2004.
  3. From an interview in Das Magazin. May 2008.
  4. a b Doris Kesselring: Cooking with passion for love. In: Ostsee-Zeitung. Rostock 1999.
  5. Basil knocks down virgins. In: Berliner Zeitung. February 21, 1997.
  6. FF included . August 10, 1987.
  7. First article: The apple of Paris and the beautiful Alcmene from Pillnitz. In: The magazine. December 1965.
  8. Manfred Gebhardt : The naked woman under the counter. The magazine in the GDR. NORA Verlagsgemeinschaft Dyck & Westerheide, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-935445-41-5 .
  9. "Gecko" - exotic items from all over the world. In: Berliner Zeitung. September 21, 1996.
  10. [1]
  11. Chervil helps Grandpa to go to Bärbel.