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Welcome Chef Rob

Happy springtime to all! Just as fresh flowers are blooming, Guiding Eyes is undergoing some new beginnings of our own. In the past few months, several highly respected members of our Rosie’s Café staff have left the organization in pursuit of their next chapter. Margaret, Maria, Jerome, Josh, and Andrea were icons in the dining room. We cannot possibly count the number of meals they served to students. About everyone left Rosie’s café with full bellies and even fuller hearts. These individuals made it their personal mission to remember the name of each person who walked through our doors and emphasized a culture of care and respect. As we say farewell to these valued friends of the Guiding Eyes community, we remember them fondly and with immense gratitude.

With change often comes pleasant surprises along the way. Over the past several weeks, we have welcomed our new head Chef, Chef Rob, to Guiding Eyes. We discovered quickly that his recipes are quite mouth-watering, as he enjoys spoiling passersby with taste testing opportunities. Chef Rob eagerly took to meeting the dietary and accessibility needs of students and has natural affinities toward descriptiveness, inclusion, and charisma. Please join us in welcoming Chef Rob and his staff to the Guiding Eyes community, and feel free to check out his bio below.


Melissa Carney
Guiding Eyes for the Blind
Community Outreach & Graduate Support Manager

Chef Rob Del Balzo

My name is Chef Rob Del Balzo, and I’ve been cooking since I was a young boy. I used to love watching and helping my mom and grandma cook delicious meals that brought the family together. I started my catering business in 2009, catering breakfast and lunch to children at several local daycare facilities.

From there, I began catering Television and Movie productions in New York City. I was the backstage caterer for a number of Reality shows such as Chopped, The Next Food Network Star, Celebrity Apprentice, Ink master, Design Star, and Project Runway just to name a few. We also provided catering for the final Harry Potter movie, Nickelodeon Halo Awards, and MTV Music Awards.

I opened my first restaurant here in Yorktown in 2012 named Destination Bistro and received a Very Good review from the NY Times. In 2019, I bought my first Food truck and have taken it to many local places to sell food such as Lobster rolls, pulled pork and my delicious smoked gouda mac and cheese. Food trucking is fun, but in February of this year, I was fortunate enough to add Guiding Eyes for the Blind to my Resume. I am currently the Executive Chef and Dining Services Manager here, and it is by far the most fulfilling role of my career. It has been my pleasure cooking for students while they get their guide dogs and watching how they overcome obstacles to form a new bond with their furry friends! I keep in touch with several of my past students and love to hear how their lives have improved by getting a guide dog. I also love to hear about their attempts to make certain recipes that I’ve cooked and shared with them and receiving pictures of food that looks better than what I’ve cooked for them!

I also have two amazing children, Caitlyn (13) and Robbie (4) who come at least once per class to help decorate cupcakes. I am joined by my wonderful staff. Patricio is my sous chef and has been with me for over 23 years! He knows and executes every one of my recipes. He is a little quiet, but once you get to know him, his funny personality comes out. Peter is our main man in the dining room. He ALWAYS aims to please. Peter has been with me for 5 years and has meticulous attention to detail and is loved by all students. His mother Margaret is also on our team, and she’s a larger-than-life personality that enjoys chatting it up with students.

I look forward to working with many more classes in the years to come at this wonderful organization!