François Haeringer, founder and owner of L'Auberge Chez François in Great Falls, Va., died June 3 from complications due to a hip fracture. He was 91 years old.

Haeringer (pictured) was born Jan. 6, 1919, in the Alsatian town of Obernai, France, and started cooking at age 16. He opened the original Chez François in Washington, D.C., in 1954. When the Claridge Hotel, which housed Chez François, was sold in 1975, the 57-year-old Haeringer decided to open an auberge, or family inn, much like those prevalent in his native Alsace. He opened L'Auberge Chez François in 1976, and made his oldest son Jacques chef de cuisine. The Haeringer family will continue running L'Auberge Chez François, according to a statement.

François Haeringer is survived by his wife Marie-Antoinette; their sons Jacques, Robert and Paul; and four grandchildren. Funeral services will be held Thursday, June 10, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Catherine's Church in Great Falls. For more information about his life, visit