Buckfast goes gourmet with a Michelin makeover

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Martin Blunos perfects his recipe of Buckfast mulled pears (SWNS)

An alcoholic drink synonymous with troublemakers has been adopted by a Michelin-starred chef to produce high-end dishes.

TV chef Martin Blunos has used Buckfast tonic wine to create a series of quality dishes.

Buckfast Beef Bourguinon, Mulled Pears and Buckfast Fruit Loaf are on the menu - with the famous super-strength wine a key ingredient.

The tonic wine was the subject of a documentary three years ago which revealed the tipple - made by monks - was a favourite of Scottish criminals.

The investigation found the drink was mentioned in more than 5,000 Scottish crime reports over just three years.

But Mr Blunos is determined to give the notorious drink - commonly known as Commotion Lotion - an image overhaul.

He said: "Buckfast is an amazing ingredient for both sweet and savoury dishes and I am blown away by the results we are achieving whist experimenting with the product."

He will be taking his concoctions on the road this year, demonstrating his recipes at food festivals and events throughout the UK.

The celebrity chef is not the only one keen to reinvent Buckfast.

Scots chef Derek Mather, 37, has also found a recipe for success with his Buckfast sorbet at his restaurant Artisan, in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire.

Since dreaming up the idea eight weeks ago Derek, a chef of 22 years, has sold over six gallons of his homemade desert.

The dish has proved so successful Derek is taking orders in advance.

Derek, who lives with his wife Fiona in Carstairs, North Lanarkshire, said: "It's something people often see in a bad light because they associate it with NEDS, but it's really just a matter of personal taste.

"I've had a couple of customers who weren't sure about it all and, when they tasted it, it wasn't what they expected at all."

Derek first came across the idea of using Buckfast in his sorbet in November after experiencing success with a series of whisky based dishes including Jack Daniels sorbet.

He added: "I actually don't like the taste of Buckfast as a drink but as an ingredient it's fantastic."

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