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“I want to create alumni power with Champions." Barthélémy Deutsch of the Champions Trust

5 April 2016

“Ask people what they remember about a restaurant after a year, they will not talk about the food, but about how they felt. This is why I like my job and why I chose it. To change the lives of people on a small level, but one that they will remember forever.” Barthélémy Deutsch, WorldSkills Champion.

Barthélémy (Barth) chose to break the rules. Originating from Belgium in a family that included a lawyer, professor, and other academics, Barth chose to pursue a career in hospitality management and began his career as a server. He knew this was the industry for him, explaining that “when I discovered my career I didn’t just discover skills, I discovered myself. I opened myself to the world and the world opened to me.”

Barth’s skilful way of creating an experience for each person he served, would soon take him around the world after he was invited to compete in the Belgium’s national skills competition, where he earned a spot to compete in WorldSkills Leipzig 2013, in Restaurant Service. The self-confidence and experience Barth gained through WorldSkills, then caught the eye of Dimitri Leivadas, Manager of the three Michelin star restaurant in the UK, the Fat Duck.

“Mr Leivadas is a man of precision and talent, a real hospitality person,” said Barth. “He gave me the dream to do always better, to surpass myself, to question everything. For him I would sleep less just to learn new dishes and make him proud. Alongside my family, he is one of the reasons why I am who I am today.”

The experience of working at the Fat Duck, voted one year as the best restaurant in the world, reinforced to Barth that you must surround yourself with people who challenge you to push yourself to new levels. For Barth, being a representative on the WorldSkills Champions Trust is an opportunity to do just that for future Champions.  

“I want to create alumni power with Champions. WorldSkills does such a great job for us, that it was important for me to give back as much as I can, and help other young people to grow,” said Barth. “I want the future champions to look up to us, and our community as a motivation, an example, but even more, as partners. I want them to know that they can contact us to learn how to deal with the pressure, learn some tips, and then stay connected for their future, and the next generation.”

Barth’s tenacity has elevated him into a Champion. He demonstrates that when you commit yourself to a profession, and expect more from yourself, the world will come calling.