Born into humble circumstances in 1929, Fred Tschanz’s career route reads like a fairy tale. Despite dreams to become a concert pianist, his path took him to the Hotel Management School in Lausanne – where he covered his expenses with part-time jobs as his mother was unwilling to accept a grant.
After twelve years of various assignments abroad, he then returned to Switzerland from the USA as an experienced gastronomist full of ideas. He founded a management society for gastronomic businesses and married young Frenchwoman Gilberte Commaille, with whom he had two daughters: Gilberte and Jacqueline. He was to marry a total of three times – the last marriage dissolved in 2007.
The story cumulates with a total of up to twelve bars, hotels and restaurants run by him and his team at one time.
His gastronomic career featured not only successes but also failures – but Fred Tschanz always stood up again, true to the spirit of “after rain, the sun will shine; after grief, it’s time to laugh”.
He was a bon vivant and passionate lover of music, culture and, of course, all kinds of culinary pleasures. He also loved the company of beautiful women. He was an avid hunter and art collector and, at the age of 80 years, even opened his own art gallery.
In the later years, Fred Tschanz concentrated his enterprise on the following operations, some of which still exist today:
In December 2012 – after 83 eventful years – Fred Tschanz passed peacefully away. However, traces of this characterful patron will long remain visible in many different ways.
Since 2013, the family business has been run by Fred Tschanz's granddaughter, Stéphanie Portmann.
She gained her first experience in the business at the age of 17 as a waitress at Bauschänzli. And during her sociology and business studies at Bern University, Stéphanie also helped out at Bauschänzli in the summer months. After graduating, she studied Hotel Management at Belvoirpark Hotel Management School and subsequently became deputy managing director of Bauschänzli; a year later she assumed full responsibility for its management.
Today, Stéphanie Portmann runs the family business together with her husband Domenic Zembrod and is very grateful to her role model and grandfather Fred Tschanz for all the pieces of wisdom that he passed on to her.