Listening, leading, learning — for more than three decades, people have turned to Jamie B. Estes when they’re ready to take their careers to the next level. Her ability to hear the story behind your story and turn it into impactful media coverage is unmatched, and she’s a known industry leader who is constantly learning as trends and techniques evolve. Jamie excels at gaining impactful coverage for top names in the culinary and lifestyle industries. She founded Estes Public Relations in 2004 and has represented top chefs, events, hotels, food products and spirits all over the country.
During her career, Jamie has managed more than 60 chef appearances at James Beard Foundation events and worked with more than 15 James Beard winners, finalists and semi-finalists. She’s worked on more than 100 restaurant openings and dozens of national product launches including Bourbon Barrel Foods Soy Sauce, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon, Copper & Kings American Brandy and Honolulu Fish Company’s consumer delivery.
Prior to opening her own firm, Estes created and managed FSA Public Relations, a division of FSA Group, for 10 years. Within this position, Estes worked with renowned chefs Emeril Lagasse, Julia Child and Jacques Pépin.
The Alabama native received her master’s degree in communications from the University of Kentucky and her bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Alabama. Her first taste of public relations came not by way of a restaurant, but from a sports press box. While a student, Jamie worked in the sports information departments of both universities, including with the iconic Alabama football and Kentucky men’s basketball teams. For six years, she taught organizational communication, public speaking and interviewing skills at University of Kentucky. She’s a current member of the University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences Board of Visitors.
Estes is past-president and a founder of the Kentucky chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International. She is also past-president of the International Foodservice Editorial Council and a founding board member and chairman of the American Institute of Wine & Food’s Kentucky chapter. Her culinary interests also led to a founding position on the Bourbon Women Association board, the first female-focused organization in the industry. In 2018 and 2019, she served as the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Louisville event planner.
Estes has dedicated her career to public relations for the food, beverage and hospitality industries and is a frequent speaker on public relations and marketing for industry and community events, including speaking with the Public Relations Review podcast about how she helps her clients achieve success.
Estes continues to develop her passion for the culinary industry in her personal life, achieving the first level of certification by the Count of Master Sommeliers. Currently, she splits her time between Louisville, Ky., and South Carolina with her husband, Kevin, and two dogs.
Awards & Accolades
Estes has earned both local and national accolades for her work, including the “40 under 40 Award” and 2021 Business Women First “Enterprising Women” Honoree from Business First newspaper in Louisville. She has also won numerous national awards from such organizations as the Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators and the Hospitality, Sales and Marketing Association International. She was inducted into the Bluegrass Chapter Public Relations Society Hall of Fame in 2020. In 2008, Estes was honored by the National Association of Women Business Owners as a Woman Business Owner of Distinction. She has been featured in articles in the Louisville Courier-Journal, Business First, Today’s Woman, StyleBlueprint and Southern Living.